Rangers trio Leon Balogun, Joe Aribo and Calvin Bassey are still in line to go to the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2021 with Nigeria after tournament organisers responded to rumours of a shake-up.
The talented Gers trio are expected to be called up to Gernot Rohr’s squad for the rescheduled 2021 tournament in Cameroon which is set to take place between January 9th and February 6th, 2022.
However, amid issues surrounding the Covid-19 omicron variant which has seen travelled suspended from the likes of the UK to several south African countries, rumours spread regarding the tournament being moved to the likes of Qatar.
But now the authorities behind the tournament have moved to rubbish these claims with the prestigious African tournament set to go ahead as planned.
“We can’t keep spending time dealing with rumours,” Caf’s director of communications Alex Siewe told BBC Sport.
“We did not receive any other message or information from our leaders – nothing such as changing of dates or countries. We did not discuss such during all our last meetings.”
“We are on site. We are working.”
Rangers impacted by AFCON response as tournament set to go ahead
The comments from AFCON also come after the European Club Association, an independent body that represents clubs across Europe, expressed “deep concerns” regarding player welfare.
The same group have claimed that the public health situation “continues to deteriorate in an alarming manner” prior to the tournament.
Politics also plays a hand with the sentiment that European clubs are frustrated with the tournament because it interrupts many European domestic league seasons.
This continues to muddy the waters regarding the situation surrounding the tournament but as things stand AFCON 2021 will kick off in Yaounde on Jan 9th.
Rangers will suffer from their own disruption from the tournament but have always been clear that they are happy to see their players represent their country.
As things stand – and if Nigeria go deep into the competition – Rangers risk realistically losing all three players for five matches after the winter break comes to an end from January 22nd.
That said, Nigerian manager Gernot Rohr has claimed that the Gers have been in touch to negotiate a deal regarding the release of the club’s Super Eagles stars.