Manchester United striker Odion Ighalo says it’s insensitive to talk about football as the world deals with the outbreak of coronavirus.
Sporting activities all over the world have had to be suspended including the Premier League where Ighalo plays.
The 30-year-old has had a good start to like in England where he has scored four goals in three starts and eight games in total.
Following his good form, Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hinted that the striker could be offered a permanent contract when his loan deal expires but the Nigerian does not want to be drawn into that conversation as the world deals with the coronavirus.
“Talking about other things now will not only be selfish but terribly insensitive. I don't even think about it,” Ighalo said when he was asked about the contract dilemma by The Sun.
“The challenge before us now is not a football one, but a global one.
“You can't put football before health challenges. What matters right now is to keep safe and pray for those battling with the virus to recover fully.
“This is another reminder for us to share love in this world. Continue to show kindness to one another because a problem facing one is a problem to all.”
Ighalo has had to deal with the outbreak of this virus before his move to Manchester United from Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua.
As China started dealing with the outbreak, the Chinese Super League (CSL) was postponed.
Even after joining Manchester United, Ighalo had to be isolated as it was required of anyone coming in from China at that time.
He couldn’t follow his new teammates to their warm-weather training in Marbella due to fears that he won’t be allowed back into England following travel restrictions and also had to train at a facility on his own during his 14-day incubation period.
Since the Premier League was suspended, Ighalo and his teammates have been at home and although he misses football, lives are all that matter for the striker.
“We are all working individually away from the training ground and staying fit at home,” he also said.
“Of course I miss football, like other players and fans. But lives matter.
“Staying safe and alive is our biggest game in the world now - and we all have a role to play in it.”
It is not known when Ighalo and other Premier League stars will be in action as the United Kingdom are still struggling to contain the spread of the coronavirus.