NFF confirms Ighalo out of AFCON, gives details

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has confirmed that striker Odion Ighalo will not be present for the 33rd Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

In a some words shared on Thursday, the federation hinted that Ighalo was not seted free by his club in Saudi Arabia club, Al- Shabab.

“Forward Odion Ighalo is no longer expected as a result of issues with his Saudi Arabian club,” NFF said in a statement by its spokesperson, Ademola Olajire.

The football federation has yet to name a replacement for the striker.

The Super Eagles of Nigeria have arrived in the Cameroonian town of Garoua, venue of their Group D matches for the 33rd AFCON on Sunday.

Team officials announced that the three-time champions will have their first training session in Cameroon on Thursday evening at the Stade Roumdé Adjia, venue of their Group D games, including Tuesday’s potentially –explosive group opener against seven-time champions Egypt. Nigeria will also challenge Sudan on 15th January and Guinea-Bissau on 19th of January.

Nigeria’s harvest of 15 podium appearances in 18 participations in the Africa Cup of Nations is the highest tally in Africa’s flagship football championship.

The only times they ended without any form of medal were in their first ever challenge in 1963, in Libya 40 years ago and in Ghana 14 years ago. They have won the (AFCON) trophy three times (1980, 1994, and 2013), finished as runners-up 4 times (1984, 1988, 1990, and 2000), and picked up the bronze medals 8 times (1976, 1978, 1992, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2010 and 2019).

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