Afcon 2023: Bayer Leverkusen’s Victor Boniface ruled out as Nigeria suffer another injury blow

Victor Boniface of Nigeria and Bayer Leverkusen
Image caption,Nigeria’s Victor Boniface has been in good form for his German club Bayer Leverkusen with 10 goals and seven assists so far this season

By Isaiah Akinremi and Emmanuel Akindubuwa

BBC Sport Africa, Lagos

Bayer Leverkusen striker Victor Boniface has been ruled out of the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) through injury, in another blow to Nigeria’s preparations.

The 23-year-old is the latest member of the Super Eagles squad to suffer an injury ahead of the tournament, which kicks off on 13 January in Abidjan.

Nice striker Terem Moffi has been called up to replace Boniface, pending the approval of the Confederation of African Football (Caf) and agreement with the player’s French Ligue 1 club.

Boniface now joins a growing list of Nigeria players who have been forced to miss Afcon 2023 through injury, including Nottingham Forest striker Taiwo Awoniyi and Leicester City midfielder Wilfred Ndidi.

Ndidi’s Leicester team-mate Kelechi Iheanacho, who missed the Super Eagles training camp, is expected to join up with the rest of the squad in Ivory Coast.

Huge miss for Nigeria

Boniface has been in good form for his German club with 10 goals and seven assists in the Bundesliga this season, and is in the running to be named the Bundesliga rookie of the month for a fifth consecutive time.

He picked up the injury in Nigeria’s training camp in Abu Dhabi and was absent from the Super Eagles 2-0 friendly loss to Guinea on Monday.

He shared his disappointment with his followers on X, having also previously missed the Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations through injury., external

Nigeria begin their quest for a fourth Afcon title in a Group A game against Equatorial Guinea on 14 January.

The West Africans will also face hosts Ivory Coast and Guinea-Bissau in the group stage.

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