Claudio Ranieri dismisses notion Watford ‘disrespected’ AFCON amid Emmanuel Dennis call-up saga with Nigeria

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  • Emmanuel Dennis
    Nigerian association football player
  • Claudio Ranieri
    Italian footballer and manager
 (PA)
(PA)

Claudio Ranieri has dismissed claims Watford have disrespected the Africa Cup of Nations after it was confirmed Emmanuel Dennis will not be representing Nigeria at the tournament.

Dennis was not part of Nigeria’s initial 37-man provisional squad, which was submitted by former coach Gernot Rohr, but he was added to it in December.

That list, however, changed again on New Year’s Eve with a Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) statement saying Dennis had been excused because Watford were “baring fangs”.

But asked if the Hornets had disrespected the Africa Cup of Nations, Ranieri said: “No. They have a lot of players and they changed the manager.

“We were ready. We know we were ready to give them players, but they didn’t do this.

“The two boards spoke and then for me it is okay. I am only the manager, only the coach, and I accept everything.

“Now I speak with [Dennis], but of course he wanted to go and play. But also he wants to help Watford.

“I accept the decision of the board and the Nigeria team. We respect everybody.

“I knew they were speaking, the [Watford] board and the Nigeria board. I accept every decision they find. For me, it is finished.”

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