Odion Ighalo, a former Manchester United striker, has denied reports that he bribed Super Eagles officials in order to get a call up.
His comeback to the Super Eagles was influenced by his mother, pastor, and Gernot Rohr, according to him, and it had nothing to do with money.
He stated that he considers it a privilege to play for Nigeria, therefore he took advantage of the opportunity and traveled to the country to represent the country.
In an interview with NFF TV, Ighalo discussed the allegations leveled against him.
“I’ve been watching the squad from afar, and they’ve been performing well,” he remarked. I’m glad to be back, I’m glad to see the boys again, and I’m glad to lend a hand whenever the coach needs it. I’m here, and I’m fully recovered.
“Since the day they announced my retirement, I’ve been thinking about it. I’ve seen a lot of stuff on the internet, and I don’t pay attention to what people say on social media, since I’m not the type of guy who causes problems.
“Since my retirement in 2019, the coach has been in contact with me to see if I want to come back.” I told him I didn’t want to return, but the strain was too much for me. Even before I arrived, the pressure was so great that I had to inform my agent to contact the NFF president and coach because I told my club in Saudi Arabia that I was no longer playing for the national team, and getting me freed for this match was difficult.
“So, first and foremost, I’m glad to be back to lend my support; the coach spoke with me extensively.” I was just chuckling because I heard so many individuals say things like “I paid my way onto the national squad” from a gentleman in the United Kingdom. I’ve never purchased my way into the national team in my life or career, even when I wasn’t in the position that I am now.
“Before I left the national team, I personally contacted Osimhen and told him, ‘This number nine position is for you; if you work hard, you will dominate Nigeria for a long time,’ and I’m glad to see him succeeding.” I’m here to help him; I told the coach before I arrived that Osimhen is the number one striker, and that’s all I want to do. I was even accused of attempting to compete for the number nine jersey, but I was simply laughing. So much has already been said.
“First and foremost, I prayed about it before deciding to return. After the World Cup, there were so many things that transpired, threats and all that, that I told my mother I wasn’t going back.”
“Like I said, I prayed about it, talked to my mother about it, talked to my pastor about it, and he asked if I wanted to go, and I replied of course, it’s my country, and playing for Nigeria is a privilege.” Nobody would refuse an invitation to play for Nigeria, but the circumstances were different back then. “My son, if you want to go, I give you my blessing,” my mother said. “God will protect you and guide you.” So I made the decision to return, and I’m glad I did.”