Ighalo Protests against Al-Shabab, Boycotts Training
Nigeria’s striker, Odion Ighalo, has been denied permission by his Saudi club, Al-Shabab, to participate in the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon which kicks off on Sunday.
Al Shabab refused Ighalo the chance to be at the AFCON, arguing that it signed him to the club when he had already retired from international football with Nigeria.
Reports on Friday said Ighalo registered his protest by refusing to participate in club training on Thursday.
Super Eagles’ former head coach, Genort Rohr named Ighalo as part of his 28-man squad after the player announced in November that he has come out of retirement.
Ighalo had earlier in 2020 announced his retirement from international football.
He was quoted on Friday to have said “I am not in the right frame of mind to train…I need to join my teammates in Cameroon to be part of AFCON. I mean, this is the biggest tournament in Africa and I want to represent my country. I cherish the green-white-green jersey, it’s so precious to me.
He insisted that “I still believe I will be part of the AFCON.”
Super Eagles gaffer to the tournament, Augustine Eguavoen said he was aware that Ighalo was making all efforts to still be part of the AFCON despite the position of his Saudi Arabian club not to release him for the competition.
“He is doing everything possible to come,” Eguavoen disclosed.
Nigeria will start off its AFCON campaign against Egypt on Tuesday, then face Sudan next Saturday before rounding up their group campaign against Guinea-Bissau on January 19.
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