Saudi Arabia Pro League side, Al Shabab has reportedly refused to allow Odion Ighalo to participate in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) starting on January 9, 2022.
Naija News reports that the striker returned to the national team in November last year after announcing his retirement from international football in 2019.
The Super Eagles striker has been in good form for his club, scoring in Al Shabab’s 4-3 win over Al-Ahli Saudi on Saturday.
Speaking with TheCable, a source in the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) said the Saudi club has banned Ighalo from joining his international teammates who are already in camp.
He revealed that the federation is doing its best to ensure that Ighalo joins the three-time African champions on time for the tournament in Cameroon.
The source stated that Nigeria can’t afford to lose Ighalo following the absence of Victor Osimhen and Emmanuel Dennis in the team.
He said: “Because Ighalo is their highest goal scorer and he also scored in their game on Saturday, they do not want to release him.
“They do not want him to leave for the AFCON so that he can help them have a shot at winning the league this season.
“You know that he has netted 11 goals for them this season and they are second on the table with a hope of winning the league if they continue to win and Ighalo keeps scoring goals for them.
“But I can assure you that NFF is doing everything possible to ensure that he is released. Because after Osimhen pulled out and Dennis too was not released by Watford, we can’t afford to lose Ighalo in the team.
“It will be devastating for the Eagles if Al Shabab refused to allow him to join the team for Cameroon.”
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