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Why NFF won’t report Al-Shabaab to FIFA for holding Ighalo back from AFCON

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Odion Ighalo

Super Eagles forward, Odion Ighalo will not be joining the rest of the national team in their quest for a title at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

This was confirmed by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Thursday morning via a radio program.

The Al-Shabaab star, who bagged the winning goal for the Saudi side in their 4-3 win over Al Ahli just last weekend, had been among the three players still expected at camp.

The NFF said Ighalo will not feature at the rescheduled 2021 tournament billed to kick off this Sunday, because his club refused to let him go.

In an interview with Brila FM, NFF Director of Communications, Ademola Olajire explained why the football body will not press charges against the club.

Read Also: Ighalo scores winner as Al-Shabab beat Al Ahli in seven-goal thriller

“Al Shabab has confirmed that they won’t be releasing Ighalo for the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon,” the football chief said.

“However, the NFF will not go to that level of reporting Ighalo’s club to FIFA because you won’t be helping the player.

“This was the same player that was invited for the 2022 World Cup qualifier against Liberia in Morocco and he was released.”

Ighalo had already been handed the number 9 jersey by Austine Eguavoen, who is to lead the team at the competition while newly-appointed coach Jose Peseiro will attend the tournament as an observer.

Nigeria will begin their campaign in Cameroon on 11 January when they take on the Pharaohs of Egypt in Group D opener, before they face Sudan and Guinea-Bissau in their other group games.

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