Super Eagles striker Odion Ighalo was invited to play for the Under 23 team at the recently concluded Rio 2016 Olympics in Brazil but surprisingly didn’t join the team’s camp. He’s now revealed that he really wanted to come to the Olympics and that his insistence nearly caused trouble between him, his club Watford and his club’s chairman Gino Pozzo.
According to Ighalo, he apologizes to Nigerians for not joining up with the Under 23 team that triumphed at Rio 2016 but he tried all his best and that if the tournament was in FIFA calendar even his club wouldn’t stop him.
‘Yeah, my club didn’t allow me to go, i had some issues with them, some problems, i sat down with the president to discuss with him about going to the Olympics’. Ighalo said on Thursday.
‘He said no, your not going to the Olympics you are our top striker, the season will soon start and we don’t want you to go and get injured and not be able to play for us at the beginning of the season’ ‘we have big games and we need you’
‘I said no, this is Olympics, i want to go, for weeks i was angry with the club even my club manager had to call me but there was nothing i could do as it was not a FIFA recognized event and was outside the FIFA window” he said
‘Then they offered me a new contract, so that was it. I will like Nigerians to know that i did my best, i tried to fight, i tried to be at Rio but nothing i could do because am under contract with them and the tournament is not compulsory as it was not under FIFA’s calendar’
‘If it was under FIFA’s calendar, there’s no stopping me but as it wasn’t they had every right not to release me’