Super Eagles’ and Tianjin Teda of China capatin, John Mikel Obi, has apologised profusely to Nigerian football loving fans over his absence from the Super Eagles’ game against the Mediterranean Knights of Libya for Sunday’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Uyo.
It is recalled that for the second consecutive time, the Anambra born former Chelsea man has excused himself from Eagles games which has prompted many Nigerians to be very critical of his absence from the AFCON qualifiers. Some have even gone ahead to insinuate that his absence is preparatory ground for to his retirement from international football but the 2016 Olympic Bronze medalist says he is still committed to the country.
Mikel’s position was made known by the Super Eagles’ Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr, who stated in a press conference at the Nigerian camp in Uyo that Mikel Obi feels a lot for the team but had to stay away in order to gain full fitness before reporting back to national team duty.
It is noted that Mikel has not featured for Nigeria since the Super Eagles were booted out of the World Cup in the group stage in June, in Russia.
The father of twins it is recalled also missed last month’s AFCON qualifier against Seychelles due to fitness issues, and Rohr has now disclosed that his captain again asked to be left out of this month’s games against Libya because he is not fully fit.
According to Gernot Rohr, “Mikel is still not fit yet and as a result; has asked to be left out. It’s a physical problem. It is not that he doesn’t want to play for his country or that he is just giving excuses.
“Once he is fit again and playing for his club, he will be back with us and I hope that will be soon. We hope he will be back for next month’s game in South Africa.”