Siasia confirms Mikel for Rio Olympics
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