REVEALED: Ighalo Terminated Al Shabaab Contract Over Refusal To Join Eagles AFCON Squad
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By Our Correspondent
Super Eagles striker, Odion Jude Ighalo has disclosed that the refusal of Saudi Arabia club side, Al Shabaab to allow him join Super Eagles squad at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon made him quit the club, www.bewtchoicesports.com.ng can report.
Ighalo terminated his contract with Al Shabaab in January and joined bitter rivals, Al Hilal where he made his debut at the 2021 Club World Cup becoming the only Nigerian player to score in the competition.
Eagles Coach, Augustine Eguavoen named the former Manchester United striker in his 28-man squad for the biennial tournament.
However, Al Shabaab refused to release him with report claiming that the former Watford hitman signed a contract not to play in international competitions with the national team
The 32-year-old claimed Al Shabab were supposed to issue him an exit visa in order to allow him travel to Cameroon, but they did not do so.
The decision according to the forward resulted in a discord between him and the club.
“I was not happy with them and we decided to part ways because the Nations Cup that I didn’t go to caused a lot of bad blood,” Ighalo told ESPN.
“Four hours until my flight [to Cameroon], they had not sent me the exit visa. I called the team manager, and he told me they did not get an invitation. But I had a copy of the invitation that was sent because they copied me in the email.
“We had all this back and forth going on, I changed the ticket to the next day, and then the third day, and they still did not send me the visa. At that point I knew they did not want me to go.
“My anger was that they should have told me straight up, not smiling in my face one day and then acting a different way. That is why I decided to leave.”
Having joined Al Hilal, the forward says he wants to help them continue their title-winning traditions: “They won the last two league titles, they won the last two Asian Champions League, the League and the Cup.
“It’s up to me to join the guys and keep winning trophies.”
Ighalo helped Al Hilal play in the Club World Cup Semi-final where they lost the bronze medal to Africa champions, Al Ahly of Egypt.