President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Amaju Pinnick has revealed that he has been in touch with two Premier League stars and other unnamed national team players ahead of the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations.
The FIFA Council member has been preparing Everton winger Alex Iwobi and Leicester City midfielder Wilfred Ndidi for what lies ahead by building up their confidence.
Pinnick has also held talks with Victor Osimhen and insisted that the Napoli striker will be available for the tournament in Cameroon despite the player still undergoing rehabilitation following surgery on a fractured cheekbone.
“I also spoke with Ndidi, spoke with Iwobi,” Pinnick said.
“I speak to my players practically every day, just to keep in touch with them, build and rebuild their confidence.”
The European Club Association has threatened not to release players for the Africa Cup of Nations over the healthcare arrangements due to the rising number of Covid-19 cases.
Pinnick made it clear that European clubs cannot retain their players because the Africa Cup of Nations is on the FIFA calendar.
“Fifa is a regulatory body and you cannot do that. It is not possible. NBA is more like a business enterprise so two different ball games.
“You cannot determine that because it’s there and they have been informed since.
“Of course there is no team that wants some of its key players not to be in the team so they will always fight but what does the law say about it, what does our statute say about it?
“They cannot stop it and that’s the truth. Statutory, politically we ensure that we have all our players”.
Nigeria are scheduled to begin a training camp in the nation’s capital Abuja in the coming days as part of their preparations for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.