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Balogun injury doubt for AFCON qualifier against Seychelles

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Leon Balogun

• Cypriot club appeals Uzoho’s ban, points deduction
Super Eagles’ managers are fretting over the latest injury to star defender, Leon Balogun ahead of the African Nations Cup qualifier against Seychelles, reports allnigeriasoccer.com.

Nigeria will take on Seychelles in an AFCON qualifier on March 21 and then take on Egypt in an international friendly at the same venue four days later

Balogun is rated as doubtful to take to the pitch when Brighton & Hove Albion travel to Leicester City in the next round of matches in the English Premier League.

The 2018 World Cup star has returned to the treatment room after suffering a shoulder injury in training ahead of the Seagulls Emirates FA Cup clash against Derby County.

Brighton & Hove have not confirmed how long Balogun will be sidelined but Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr will be concerned about the fitness of the central defender as he is expected to announce his roster for the upcoming games against Seychelles and Egypt within the next 18 days.

The 30-year-old only recently recovered from illness before this latest setback.

A metatarsal fracture kept Balogun out of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and he was not considered for the 2017 AFCON qualifiers against Tanzania and Egypt after suffering injuries.

He was not available for selection against Togo and South Africa in June 2017 due to a thigh complaint and suddenly fell ill just before a pre-World Cup friendly versus Serbia.

Meanwhile, Anorthosis Famagusta have confirmed they will appeal against a nine-point deduction imposed by the Cyprus Football Association (CFA) for fielding Nigeria goalkeeper, Francis Uzoho earlier this month.

According to BBC, the CFA punished Anorthosis after it upheld an appeal by Apollon Limassol, who had disputed that debutant Uzoho played with an invalid health certificate in a game between the two sides.

Anorthosis, who had won the fixture 1-0, saw that result overturned in favour of Apollon and had an additional six points deducted for breaking the rules.

Uzoho, 20, was also handed a one-match suspension and a fine of €1,000 euros ($1,130), which means he is set to miss the final match of the Cypriot regular season.

He has already sat out two matches since his disputed debut. But, in a statement on the Anorthosis website, the club said it will ask the CFA to postpone its final regular league game while an appeal is lodged.

The overall deduction of nine points has seen the club drop into the bottom half of the 12-team league, which sees six clubs play each other twice more to decide who is relegated.

That leaves the top six clubs to complete their seasons against each other to decide the Cypriot champions.


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