By Akinwale Kasali
The dream of Super Eagles winger, Moses Daddy Ajala Simon, of making his debut at his first world cup has been dashed.
Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr has confirmed that Gent forward Moses Simon will miss the Russia 2018 World Cup,
Simon will not feature in Monday’s friendly against DR Congo in Port Harcourt and the game against England in London on June 2.
Rohr told reporters on Sunday that Simon would be out for up to four weeks, meaning that the player will not be available for the World Cup, which kicks off on June 14 and ends on July 15.
“Moses sustained an injury in training and after an examination was carried out on him by the medical staff, it was revealed that he would be out for three to four weeks, so he cannot participate in the World Cup,” the German coach said.
“It is unfortunate that he will not be travelling with the team but the spirit in the team is still great. We still have 27 players, who trained today (in Port Harcourt). In a few days, we will have 25 and from there we will have the final 23 players for the World Cup . We still have players who can work in his role and I hope his injury will be the last to any player.”
He added, “The training today was good because it allowed the players to feel the spirit of Nigerians who came to watch them. There was music, which put the team in a good rhythm. It puts them in a good mood before we leave for Europe after the match against DR Congo.”
The former Gabon coach will drop four more players from the squad after the game against DR Congo.
In a related development, Egyptian striker and PFA Player of the Eyar in English Premier League, Mohammed Salah, is “confident” of being fit for the World Cup despite suffering a shoulder injury in Liverpool’s Champions League final defeat against Real Madrid, AFP reports.
Salah was forced off in tears during the first half of the 3-1 loss in Kiev on Saturday, sparking fears he wouldn’t make it to next month’s World Cup.
The 25-year-old sustained the problem when he was dragged awkwardly to the turf following a challenge with Sergio Ramos, leading some to claim the Madrid defender had deliberately tried to injure Liverpool’s star forward.
Speaking after the final, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp had described the injury as “serious” amid fears Salah had suffered a dislocated shoulder.
That would have ruled him out of Egypt’s first appearance in the World Cup since 1990.
Salah was pictured with his shoulder in a sling when he got off Liverpool’s plane at John Lennon Airport on Sunday.
But it now appears there is a good chance Salah will be able to join his country for the tournament in Russia.
“It was a very tough night, but I’m a fighter. Despite the odds, I’m confident that I’ll be in Russia to make you all proud,” Salah wrote on his official Twitter account on Sunday.
“Your love and support will give me the strength I need.”
Spain defender Dani Carvajal is still in contention to play at the World Cup, despite injuring his hamstring playing for Real Madrid against Liverpool on Saturday.
A tearful Carvajal had to be substituted during the Champions League final in Kiev, prompting fears the right-back would miss this summer’s tournament, which starts in less than three weeks’ time.
However, after undergoing medical tests with Real, a statement released by the national team on Monday indicated the 26-year-old will remain with the squad.
“Carvajal this morning underwent medical tests with his club, with the doctors of the Spanish national team present,” the statement read.
“The tests showed an injury in the hamstring of the right thigh. He will begin the recovery process of this injury with the medical group of the national team, who will stay in close contact with his club.”
Spain play friendlies against Switzerland and Tunisia on June 3 and 9 respectively.
Their first World Cup match will be against Portugal on June 15.