Nigerians have continued to express their rage at the refusal of Watford to release Emmanuel Dennis Bonaventure for 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

The club narrowly lost 1-0 to Spurs on New Year in the English Premier League.

Dennis cut a frustrated figure in the disappointing defeat at Vicarage Road and was subbed off at halftime.

In a bid to motivate fans of the Hornets, the club tried to pump up their spirit on Monday with: “Never give up. Never give in.”

An angry Super Eagles supporter replied: “Watford officials must come to Nigeria and apologise to the gods or else.”

Since the refusal of Watford to allow Dennis participate at the 33rd AFCON, Nigerians have flooded their social media handles with fury.

It was reported last week that Nigeria missed a deadline to advise the club that the striker was under consideration for the tournament, which runs from January 9 to February 6, before naming him in the final squad.

And on Friday, Nigeria left Dennis out of their final selection for the tournament.

When the email issue emerged, a source close to Dennis told The Athletic: “He wants to go, but he’s aware that Watford are his employers and he doesn’t want any issues there. He will deal with it, whatever happens.”

FIFA rules state: “Associations wishing to call up a player must notify the player in writing at least 15 days before the first day of the international window in which the representative teams’ activities for which he is required will take place.

“Associations wishing to call up a player for the final competition of an international tournament must notify the player in writing at least 15 days before the beginning of the relevant release period.

“The player’s club shall also be informed in writing at the same time. Equally, associations are advised to copy the association of the clubs concerned into the summons. The club must confirm the release of the player within the following six days.”

On Friday, Claudio Ranieri said: “I knew they were speaking, the board and the Nigeria board and I accept every decision they find and for me it’s finished.”

He added: “Of course he wanted to go and to play but he also wanted to help Watford.”

Dennis, who has three caps for Nigeria, has scored eight goals in 16 games for Watford this season.


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