New Telegraph

December 1, 2023

Ighalo : I left Al Shabab after they stopped me from AFCON

…says it was a slap

Charges Eagles over next  match against Ghana


Super Eagles striker, Odion Ighalo, who recently left Saudi Arabian Club, Al Shabab for Al Hilal, has revealed that he made the switch after his former club stopped him from attending the ongoing African Cup of Nations in the colours of Nigeria.

Ighalo said it was a bitter experience for him to have been denied a chance of playing in Cameroon with barely four hours to his flight time to Abuja, to join the Eagles camp.


He said: “I was all set and only waiting for exit visa from the club when they started the drama.


The club came up with various excuses about not seeing the mail and I reminded them that it was same email they received for the qualifier I played late last year in Lagos.


This was just four hours to my flight. “It was so sad and I believe it was a slap to my personality as a senior player.


For two days I did not attend training and was not talking to anybody and when the club President called me I told him a bad blood had been created and I had to go.


I read comment about signing with a clause that was untrue because same club released me for the last Eagles match in Nigeria.”


On the overall performance of the Eagles, Ighalo said it was a good outing despite the country’s ouster in the last 16 stage of the tournament.

“Football is not mathematics. After a brilliant run in the first round, they did all they could to move on but it was not just our day. We have to focus on the next match against Ghana which is very crucial.


“Some reactions on social media were negative especially against the keeper, Maduka Okoye.

The same guy was in goal for previous matches and did well. We all want to win and we are human too. If people react like that after defeat, how do they expect us to go for the next game?”

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