Super Eagles striker, Odion Jude Ighalo has joined the list of players that will not be available for Nigeria at the AFCON 2021, following the refusal of Al Shabab to release him for the competition.
Ighalo was ruled out of the competition following his club’s refusal to release the player for national team assignment. According to reports from Al Shabab, the Nigerian Football Federation did not submit the necessary papers for the release of the player before the expected date.
An official of Al Shabab, Majid Al-Marzouki, confirmed in a statement that there is no further conversation between the Nigerian team and the club as it concerns Ighalo.
“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 advsised to send a copy to the local federation of the club as well, which did not happen. Accordingly, the coach ( Pericles Chamusca ) told us that the player will stay with us and will not join the Nigerian team. There are no negotiations between us and the Nigerian federation, and the player is committed to the decision. The situation is settled.
The situation with Ighalo is the same that affected the release of Emmanuel Dennis who was not released by Watford Football Club because of the NFF’s failure to submit the necessary documents for the player before the expected deadline.