'If they are called up, they will go' - Bayer chief confirms Boniface and Tella will be released to NFF for AFCONPublished: December 05, 2023
Bayer Leverkusen's managing director Simon Rolfes has confirmed that the Super Eagles duo of Victor Boniface and Nathan Tella will be released to the Nigeria Football Federation for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations if they are included on the national team's roster for the tournament in Ivory Coast.
Previously, Bayer Leverkusen CEO Fernando Carro said that he was considering legal action to prevent Victor Boniface and Nathan Tella from representing the Super Eagles at the AFCON, citing the timing of the competition which will hold from January 13 to February 11, 2024.
Bayer Leverkusen could see their squad weakened during the AFCON, with three other players also in contention to play in the tournament, including Odilon Kossounou (Ivory Coast), Edmond Tapsoba (Burkina Faso) and Amine Adli (Morocco).
Rolfes has made it clear that the aforementioned players will not be persuaded to reject a call-up for the Africa Cup of Nations, amid speculation in the media that Bayer Leverkusen want to block at least one player from attending the tournament.
"If they are called up, they will go," Rolfes said to Kicker about the five Bayer Leverkusen players in line to represent their respective countries at the AFCON.
The Nigeria Football Federation must submit their final squad for the Africa Cup of Nations by January 3, 2024, while a provisional roster containing 55 players has to be sent to the Confederation of African Football within the next nine days.
According to Fifa regulations, Bayer Leverkusen are obligated to release Boniface and Tella for the Africa Cup of Nations.
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