Connect with us


Ighalo reveals he dumped Al-Shabaab after missing Nations Cup



Odion Ighalo

Super Eagles forward, Odion Ighalo has revealed why he left Al-Shabaab a few weeks ago to join another Saudi club, Al Hilal.

The striker said he had to leave the club after his desire to play for Nigeria at the just-concluded Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) was not approved.

Ighalo was invited by the Austin Eguavoen-led technical crew of the Super Eagles for the Cameroon tournament, but failed to show up in camp.

In a chat with ESPN, Ighalo narrated how the disappointment happened, and how he reacted to it by leaving the club a few weeks after.

“I was not happy with them and we decided to part ways because the Nations Cup that I didn’t go to caused a lot of bad blood,” Ighalo said.

Read Also: Ighalo leaves Al-Shabaab, joins rival Saudi club Al-Hilal

“Four hours until my flight [to Cameroon], they had not sent me the exit visa. I called the team manager, and he told me they did not get an invitation. But I had a copy of the invitation that was sent because they copied me in the email.

“We had all this back and forth going on, I changed the ticket to the next day, and then the third day, and they still did not send me the visa. At that point I knew they did not want me to go.

“My anger was that they should have told me straight up, not smiling in my face one day and then acting a different way. That is why I decided to leave.”

Nigeria could not go past the round of 16 of the tournament in Cameroon as they were knocked out by Tunisia.

Ighalo will be available for selection when the Nigeria team begin preparations for their FIFA 2022 World Cup playoffs against Ghana in March.

Meanwhile, Ighalo haunted his former club Al-Shabab by scoring two goals in Al Hilal’s 5-0 victory on Thursday (today) in the Saudi professional league.

Join the conversation


Support Ripples Nigeria, hold up solutions journalism

Balanced, fearless journalism driven by data comes at huge financial costs.

As a media platform, we hold leadership accountable and will not trade the right to press freedom and free speech for a piece of cake.

If you like what we do, and are ready to uphold solutions journalism, kindly donate to the Ripples Nigeria cause.

Your support would help to ensure that citizens and institutions continue to have free access to credible and reliable information for societal development.

Donate Now