Nigeria’s Super Eagles have suffered a major blow after the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) confirmed that striker Odion Ighalo will not feature at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON, in Cameroon.
In a statement released by the NFF, the former Manchester United star will play no part at the 33rd edition of the AFCON because his Saudi Arabia club, Al Shabab, has refused to release him for the bi-annual showpiece.
“Forward Odion Ighalo is no longer expected as a result of issues with his Saudi Arabian club,” part of the statement read.
Recall that Ighalo was still expected to arrive at the Super Eagles camp as of Wednesday and was handed the number 9 jersey by Austine Eguavoen last night ahead of the tournament
The forward was widely expected to lead the Super Eagles attack in the absence of Napoli striker Victor Osimhen.
Nigeria are in Group D alongside Egypt, Sudan and Guinea Bissau.
Meanwhile, there are unconfirmed reports that Feyenoord attacker, Cyriel Dessers, could be a late replacement for Ighalo.