Former Manchester United striker Odion Ighalo is set to miss AFCON for Nigeria with several other key players.
Nigeria star Odion Ighalo will miss out on the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon along with several other players.
The former Manchester United striker has been spending time at the Saudi Arabian outfit Al Shabab. However, the club has not allowed the 32-year-old to take part in the forthcoming major tournament.
Besides Ighalo, Victor Osimhen and Emmanuel Dennis are also set to miss AFCON for the Super Eagles.
Nigeria coach Augustin Egwavoen had asked Ighalo to join the team before 5:00 pm on Tuesday. But, Al Shabab declared that the official invitation from the Nigeria Football Federation did not reach on time.
Majid Al-Marzouki, an official at the Saudi club said: “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,”
“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.”
Nigeria will face mighty Egypt in their opening fixture on Tuesday, January 11. They also have Sudan and debutants Guinea Bissau in their group.