Nigeria’s Afcon 2023 aspirations suffer Setback: striker Victor Boniface out with injury

In a disappointing turn of events for Nigeria, the anticipation surrounding their Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) campaign has been dampened as Bayer Leverkusen’s striker, Victor Boniface, has been forced to withdraw due to injury. The 23-year-old becomes the latest casualty in a string of fitness concerns for the Super Eagles, just days before the tournament’s kickoff on January 13 in Abidjan.

Adding to Nigeria’s challenges, the absence of key players like Taiwo Awoniyi and Wilfred Ndidi due to injuries has created a void in the squad.

The call-up of Terem Moffi from Nice as a replacement for the injured Boniface is contingent on approval from the Confederation of African Football (Caf) and an agreement with the player’s French Ligue 1 club.

Despite Boniface’s commendable performance with Bayer Leverkusen, contributing 10 goals and seven assists in the Bundesliga this season, an injury sustained during Nigeria’s training camp in Abu Dhabi has ruled him out.

The void left by his absence was evident in the Super Eagles’ recent 2-0 friendly loss to Guinea.

The potential inclusion of Leicester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho, initially absent from the training camp, offers a glimmer of hope for Nigeria as they head to Ivory Coast.

As Nigeria navigates the setbacks and recalibrates their strategy, the loss of Victor Boniface presents a challenge to their pursuit of a fourth Afcon title.

With the tournament’s commencement against Equatorial Guinea on January 14 in Group A (which also includes Ivory Coast and Guinea-Bissau), the Super Eagles will need to regroup swiftly and adapt to the evolving dynamics.


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