Death threats almost forced five-star Ighalo into international retirement

Death threats almost forced five-star Ighalo into international retirement
Odion Ighalo celebrate during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier football match between Nigeria and Libya at Akwa Ibom International Stadium, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria on 13 October 2018 @Kabiru Abubakar/BackpagePix

by Staff Reporter

Wednesday Oct 17, 2018. 17:15

Nigeria's Odion Ighalo has revealed that he almost quit international football following death threats made to his family.

The 29-year-old is the name on everyone's lips in Nigeria, following a five-star showing for the Super Eagles in back-to-back 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Libya this month.

Ighalo bagged a hat-trick in a 4-0 win over the North African's before netting a brace in the reverse fixture - that ended 3-2 in Nigeria's favour - to fire his country to the cusp of qualification for next year's showpiece.

The former Watford forward, though, has revealed that he considered quitting International football following threats made to his family in aftermath of Nigeria's 2018 FIFA World Cup exit.

"I know the fans want me to score goals. I understand them. But some of them took it to another level," he told KweseESPN.

"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.

"I felt very bad (when they threatened my family). I had to talk to my wife because she could not take it. Some words they said about my kids, about me. Some words they said to her, threatening and all that. That is beyond football.

"My wife said 'you don't have to go there (to Nigeria) any more' and it was because of all what they said to her and to our family."

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