The hope of having Odion Ighalo representing Nigeria at the forthcoming 2021 TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations might have been dashed after Al Shabab refused to release the striker for the tournament. 

25 players and officials departed the shores of Nigeria last night and arrived Garoua for the biannual competition scheduled to kick off on 9th January. 

Nigeria had hoped to replace Ighalo with Feyenoord striker, Cyriel Dessers as his club remains adamant on granting his request to leave for the tournament

The CAF media committee would have had to approve this last-ditch replacement and that would be in the event that Ighalo will be unavailable on health grounds.

Since Ighalo’s case is not connected to health, Nigeria may have to make use 27 man squad for the tournament.

Ighalo himself has been philosophical about the complicated situation after he shared an Instagram post stating “We plan God decides” 

Meanwhile the only two players still being expected to join the team is Jamilu Collins and Tyrone Ebuehi 

The Super Eagles will be having a warm-up game against local side Cotonsport on Friday. The game would be decided behind closed doors. 

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