Watford hit back at Senegal in row over Ismaila Sarr after being accused of blocking his AFCON 2022 call-up

WATFORD have hit back at the Senegal Football Federation in a row over Ismaila Sarr.

Senegal are accusing the Hornets of refusing to release Sarr for this month’s Africa Cup of Nations finals and want help from Fifa.

The tournament starts in Cameroon on Sunday but Watford have made it clear that Sarr is injured.

They have even invited the country to get an independent surgeon in London to inspect Sarr’s knee.

In a statement, Waford said: “Ismaila Sarr suffered a knee ligament injury on November 20 in the match against Manchester United and has not been fit to play for Watford since that date.

“In early December, the club wrote to the Senegal Football Federation outlining the clinical diagnosis of Ismaila's injury and immediately followed that up by supplying the MRI scans detailing the extent of the injury.

"After further consultation with medical experts, we informed the Federation of Ismaila's rehabilitation process and likely time-frame of recovery.

"Within the past 10 days, the Club has reiterated to the Senegal Football Federation the player's current medical status and recovery schedule.

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"The Hornets have also invited the Senegal Football Federation to instruct their own independent surgeon to confirm the diagnosis and rehabilitation period."

In their statement, the Senegalese football federation said: “The FSF wishes to express its deep condemnation of the disrespectful, pernicious and discriminatory behaviour of Watford who seek by all means to prevent a player from playing with his national team.

“Africa, its football and its footballers deserve the same respect as that accorded to other continents, confederations and players.

“The FSF will take all the necessary action to ensure that the basic right of its footballers to play for their country is respected.”

The Premier League strugglers have already refused to allow Nigeria striker Emmanuel Dennis to join up with his country, claiming the Nigerian Football Federation did not call him up in time.

Watford, who lost in stoppage time to Tottenham on Sunday, will lose three other players to the tournament, namely Will Troost-Ekong of Nigeria and the Moroccan pair of Imran Louza and Adam Masina. 

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