Odion Ighalo calls time on his Super Eagles career due to constant abuse and death threatsJuly 20, 2019
Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo has decided to call time on his Super Eagles career after being subjected to constant abuse and death threats from Nigerians.
Ighalo was forced to disable the comment section on his Instagram posts due to disparaging comments and death threats to him and his family after the 2018 FIFA World Cup where he failed to score a single goal.
The 30-year-old became the fall guy for Nigeria’s group-stage exit at the 2018 World Cup as Nigerians blamed him for missing goal-scoring chances in the 2-1 loss to Argentina in the final game.
With the comment section of his Instagram post blocked, Nigerians flooded his wife’s Instagram account with hateful comments.
The striker who is based in China considered quitting the Super Eagles after that incident but was talked out of it by coach Gernot Rohr.
“They said a lot of things. To my innocent kids, to my wife, even to the extent they threatened my life and the life of my family,” Ighalo told ESPN in October 2018.
He returned to the national team and bounced back with seven goals to finish the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualification series as the highest goalscorer.
He continued with his impressive goal return for the Super Eagles with five goals at AFCON 2019 and is on course to win the Golden Boot.
With the ovation at it’s loudest, the former Watford striker has decided to call time on his Super Eagles striker to avoid future occurrence.
“He had discussed his decision with the coach before the third-place match, saying that the constant abuse was taking a toll on his young family, but he was advised to keep it under wraps for the moment,” ESPN quoted a source in a report.
Ighalo is yet to make an official statement but it is understood that he has made this decision known to Rohr, his teammates and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
Ighalo who made his Super Eagles debut in March 2015, scored 16 goals in 35 appearances and joins former Super Eagles captain Mikel Obi as the second player to quit the national team after AFCON 2019.