(Reuters) – Nigeria striker Odion Ighalo is not going to play for his nation on the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon after his Saudi Arabian club refused to let him go, officers confirmed on Thursday.
Riyadh-based Al Shabab mentioned his call-up from the Nigerian Football Federation had arrived after the deadline they usually have been subsequently refusing to let him go, the Al Arabiya tv channel reported.
“Forward Odion Ighalo is no longer expected as a result of issues with his Saudi Arabian club,” the Nigerian Football Federation added in an announcement.
Nigeria additionally did not ship a call-up letter in time to Watford for striker Emmanuel Dennis, who can be not going to the event as a result of his club refused to launch him.
Countries should inform golf equipment of call-ups 15 days earlier than the beginning of a event, based on FIFA rules.
The 32-year-old Ighalo, who’s a former Watford and Manchester United participant, was the highest scorer on the final Cup of Nations finals in Egypt the place Nigeria reached the semi-final.
He tops the goalscoring charts within the Saudi Arabian league this season.
If the state of affairs modifications, Ighalo can compete after being included within the 28-man squad and handed the quantity 9 jersey.
Nigeria’s squad arrived in Garoua on Thursday, the place they held their first coaching session the identical day. They play there towards Egypt of their opening Group D match on Tuesday.
(Writing by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Toby Davis)