Super Eagles interim boss, Austin Eguavoen, has questioned the desire of Odion Ighalo and Emmanuel Dennis after both players failed to join up with Nigeria’s squad for the 2021 AFCON.
Ighalo and Dennis were included in Eguavoen’s 28-man squad for the showpiece in Cameroon, but both had failed to honour the callup due to their club’s refusal to release them.
Ighalo could not link up with his teammates after his Saudi Arabian club Al-Shabab claimed that his invitation came in late from the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
Watford also took advantage of the same error to stop their talisman Dennis from representing his motherland in Cameroon.
However, while Eguavoen agrees with the clubs’ decision, he believes Ighalo and Dennis could have come if they had shown more desire.
“We have to respect people’s opinions, but there are regulations to release players, Eguavoen said at his pre-match press conference ahead of Nigeria’s opening game against Egypt.
“It boils down to the individual players. You have to fight for it. We also battle such when we were playing & we fought it because it’s a privilege & honour to play for your country.”
The Super Eagles will be seeking a fourth AFCON title in Cameroon, and they will be aiming to start with a win in their opening game against the Pharaohs.