As the Africa Cup of Nations begin January 10 in Gabon, Super Eagles striker Odion Ighalo has lamented that it will be hard to watch the event on television when the 2013 Champions, should have been in the tick of the action.
Nigeria failed to qualify due to a combination of a half hearted pursuit of the qualifiers by the team players and an unstable Nigeria Football Federation.
“It’s going to be very painful for Nigerians and as well the Super Eagles players to watch the AFCON 2017 at home,” Ighalo said.
“Nigeria is one of the big guns in football and missing the second AFCON in a row is even more painful. What we’ll have to do is to keep working hard to ensure that we qualify for the next AFCON. “For me, it’s a privilege for me to be called upon to play for my nation. So, I’ll always honour my country.”
However, the Watford of England striker maintained that the Eagles are on course to clinch the 2018 FIFA World Cup ticket. “We are happy about our performance so far in the World Cup qualifiers so far but we’ve not qualified yet,” he said. “This is not putting pressure on us, rather it’ll spur us more to keep fighting or to keep believing in ourselves to keep winning. Right now we are top of the group, if we can win one more game and draw one, it means we are already through to the World Cup.”