Ighalo boycotts Al-Shabab training

Ighalo boycotts Al-Shabab training

Odion Ighalo boycotted Al-Shabab training on Thursday as he bids to force his way to feature at the forthcoming Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon which kicks off on Sunday.

Ighalo is torn between club and country after his team Al Shabab blocked his move to feature at the tournament having signed him when he had already retired from international football with Nigeria.

The 32-year-old came out of retirement last November, two years after he announced his retirement and featured in the team’s 1-1 draw against Cape Verde in a 2022 World Cup qualifier, a move which saw him named in the Eagles 28-man squad for the tournament.

Ighalo who was the top scorer at the 2019 AFCON 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.

“So, I cherish the green-white-green jersey, it’s so precious to me.

“I still believe I will be part of the AFCON.

Super Eagles interim coach Augustine Eguavoen also revealed that the former Watford striker is still fighting to be part of the AFCON despite the position of his Saudi Arabian club not to release him for the tournament.

Eguavoen said; “He is doing everything possible to come.

“He is doing his best, so too the federation.

“Hopefully we will get a positive answer.

He also added that possible replacements for Ighalo were Nasarawa United striker Silas Nwankwo and Sweden-based youngster Akinkunmi Amoo, but the CAF rule that only health reasons could force such change made it impossible to do so.

Nigeria are grouped with Egypt, Sudan and Guinea-Bissau and begin their Nations Cup campaign against Egypt on January 11 and he says it’s a crucial game for his team.

The Eagles then face Sudan on January 15, before rounding up their group campaign against Guinea-Bissau on January 19.

PUNCH/Mercy Chukwudiebere
Ighalo boycotts Al-Shabab training

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