Nigeria Super Eagles forward, Odion Ighalo, has been confirmed to be out of the Africa Cup of Nations following refusal by his Saudi Arabian club Al Shaba to release him for the tournament in Cameroon.
Quest Times understands top scorer at the last Nations Cup in 2019, was initially given a deadline of Tuesday to confirm his availability by interim Super Eagles coach Augustine Eguavoen.
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However, Ighalo was not part of the squad that landed in Garoua late on Wednesday and a statement from the Nigeria Football Federation said he “is no longer expected as a result of issues with his Saudi Arabian club”.
Al Shabab objected to their top scorer’s involvement and reiterated that NFF missed the official deadline to call up the player.
The Riyad club official Majid Al-Marzouki told Al Arabiya’s In the Goal TV program that Ighalo’s letter of invitation did not reach the club within the period specified by world governing body Fifa for receiving players’ call-up letters.
“The FIFA Player Status Regulations stipulates that the federation must notify the player and his club in writing of his summons 15 days before the start of the tournament, and it is advised to send a copy to the local federation of the club as well, which did not happen,” Al-Marzouki said.