Samuel Kalu collapsed in training due to dehydration and missed Nigeria's Africa Cup of Nations opener against Burundi. Photo: @JoySportsGH/Twitter

CAIRO – Nigeria forward Samuel Kalu is in a “stable condition” after collapsing during training due to dehydration, the Egyptian Football Association said, amid a sweltering start to the Africa Cup of Nations.

“The health situation of Nigeria’s player Samuel Kalu is stable after undergoing the necessary medical tests following his fall during his team’s training due to a heart muscle failure,” the Egyptian FA wrote in a statement.

The Bordeaux player was suffering from “dehydration after losing a large quantity of fluids” on Friday, it added, before stating that Kalu was “in a stable condition and can play” against Burundi in Alexandria on Saturday. Nigeria won the game 1-0, however Kalu did not feature. 

It is the first time the tournament is being played across June and July, with temperatures in Egypt expected to hover between 35 and 38 Celsius (95-100.4 Fahrenheit) over the next month.

All matches will feature three-minute heat breaks, taken in the 30th and 70th minute, due to the extreme heat with water and cold towels provided for players and officials.

AFP