Nigeria has said they will insist on the release of all their Europe-based pros for the AFCON latest January 4.
General Secretary of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Musa Amadu said they will invoke the rule that stipulates clubs have to release players at least 14 days to a major competition like the Nations Cup. "The foreign clubs are obliged to release the players two weeks to the competition.
And so we expect all the players to be in Faro, Portugal, by January 4," said Amadu. "Otherwise, we will employ sanctions on the players and the clubs involved."
The release of their Europe-based pros is crucial for Nigeria, whose squads for the 2010 and 2008 editions of the Nations Cup were wholly players from overseas.
Most of the leagues in Europe will break for the Christmas, but Nigeria may come in collision course with clubs in the English premier League for the release of the likes of Mikel Obi, Victor Moses, Osaze Odemwingie and Shola Ameobi.