Watford hit back after Senegal accuse club of refusing to release Ismaila Sarr

Watford are embroiled in a second Africa Cup of Nations row – this time with Senegal over the availability of Ismaila Sarr.

Senegal have accused the Premier League club of refusing to release the injured winger for the tournament.

It comes after Nigeria suggested Watford were “baring fangs” after the club objected to top goalscorer Emmanuel Dennis being named in their squad. It has since been confirmed that Dennis will not be taking part.

The latest incident involves Sarr, who has been out since November 20 after suffering a knee ligament injury in the 4-1 win over Manchester United.

Watford do not expect Sarr to be fit again until next month but he was named in Senegal’s squad for the Africa Cup of Nations, which runs from January 9 to February 6 in Cameroon.

However, the Senegal football federation released a statement saying the Hornets had “blocked” the 23-year-old from joining up with the national team, adding Sarr had “expressed his desire” to do so.

A statement from Watford in reply, read: “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 FC 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 timeframe 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.

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