The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) confirmed the development on Thursday, explaining that the striker’s Saudi Arabia club Al- Shabab, did not release him for the tournament which begins on Sunday in Cameroon.
Ighalo, top scorer at the 2019 edition of the competition were Nigeria finished third, had only recently returned to the national team were he retired after the tournament hosted in Egypt.
Midemedia gathered Ighalo was not released by his Saudi Arabia club Al Shabab owing to contractual reasons. Before joining the Saudi Arabian side from Shanghai Shenhua in 2021, the 2019 Afcon top scorer signed a clause that he would not be involved in international duties.
Prior to that move, Ighalo had announced his retirement from the Nigeria national team. However, he was recalled by Gernot Rohr as the German needed to solve the issues surrounding the Super Eagles attacking line.
The Super Eagles who were flown into Garoua aboard an Air Peace jet and will lodge inside Ribadou Hotel.