Si­a­sia con­firms Mikel for Rio Olympics

Daily Trust - - SPORT -

Chelsea mid­fielder Mikel Obi will fea­ture at the Rio Olympics af­ter ini­tial fears he will not, ac­cord­ing to Nige­ria Olympic team coach Sam­son Si­a­sia.

Si­a­sia him­self had raised fears over the avail­abil­ity of the Chelsea mid­fielder as one of the over-aged play­ers for the Olympics in Au­gust.

But he has now con­firmed Mikel will fea­ture in Rio in Au­gust.

“Mikel has con­firmed avail­abil­ity,” Si­a­sia dis­closed.

“We have some other play­ers who have promised to join us and they have shown com­mit­ment like Wil­fred Ndidi, who has as­sured us that he will join us in Amer­ica.

“Other play­ers who will be avail­able are goal­keeper Daniel Akpeyi and Ken­neth Omeruo. These are the play­ers who are con­firmed for now.”

This should be some cheer­ing news for Si­a­sia, who will be with­out sev­eral play­ers not re­leased by their for­eign clubs.

Wat­ford striker Odion Ighalo, Kelechi Iheana­cho of Manch­ester City and Alex Iwobi from Arse­nal his have opted out of the tour­na­ment af­ter their clubs blocked them as it is not on the FIFA cal­en­dar.

Mean­while, the Dream Team had their first train­ing ses­sion in At­lanta, Ge­or­gia, in the United States of Amer­ica yes­ter­day.

This was af­ter their re­turn from Mex­ico, where they lost a Rio Olympics warm-up to the home team 1-0.

The play­ers in the US in­clude skip­per Azubuike Okechukwu, Us­man Mo­hammed, Satur­day Kaego, Nd­ifreke Ef­fiong, Sin­cere Seth, Em­manuel Daniel and Taiwo Awoniyi.

Oth­ers are God­win Saviour, Shehu Ab­dul­lahi, Ab­dul­rah­man Taiwo and Ju­nior Ajayi.

AS Roma striker Sadiq Umar is ex­pected to re­join the squad af­ter at­tend­ing the tra­di­tional prayers of his late fa­ther in Kaduna.

The team are billed to play two other tune-up matches against a lo­cal side and Rio-bound Hon­duras in the US be­fore the fi­nal squad of 18 play­ers fly out from Mi­ami to Brazil on July 29.

John Mikel Obi (L) of Nige­ria is pur­sued by Gior­gos Karagou­nis (R) of Greece dur­ing a World Cup prepa­ra­tion friendly match in Ch­ester, Penn­syl­va­nia, on June 3, 2014. PHOTO AFP

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