Chelsea midfielder, Mikel Obi, has described his appointment as the Captain of Team Nigeria to the Rio Olympic Games as overwhelming.
29-year old Mikel said this is highest accolade a sportsman can get.
“First and foremost, I will say I am overwhelmed with this opportunity to be the captain of Team Nigeria to the Rio Olympics.
“I am much pleased and very happy with myself for what I have been able to achieve, and grateful to the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports and the entire country for this opportunity,” he said on the Nigeria Football Federation website.
The Africa Cup of Nations gold medalist promised to carry everyone along and ensure that Team Nigeria’s performance is better than previous Olympic outings.
He also called on Nigerians to support the team and wish the players and officials well.
“My objective is definitely going to be to carry everyone along.
“I think it’s important that we all work together, it’s important that we all set one goal, and that goal is to be successful, to win medals, to make sure we get gold medals.
“Our country has not done very well in recent times at the Olympics, so hopefully we can go to Rio and do well,” he said.
The Confederation Of African Football (CAF) has fined the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) 5,000 dollars for overcrowding and lack of security during the 2017 African Cup of Nations qualifier against Egypt in Kaduna in March.
On March 29, the gates to the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna, venue of the match was thrown open for football fans causing over 50, 000 spectators to cram into the 15, 000-capacity stadium.
Rising from their disciplinary board meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, the African football governing body handed down the fine, while threatening further sanctions if there was a similar incident in future games.
The game ended in a 1-1 with Mohammed Salah scoring a late equaliser for the Pharaohs.
Meanwhile, the CAF disciplinary committee has also fined Egypt’s FA 5,000 dollars because of the excessive use of lasers during the return leg fixture against Nigeria.
The incident occurred during their African Cup of Nations qualification return leg clash in Alexandria.
The Pharaohs won the game 1-0 and ended Nigeria’s hopes of a place at the next Cup of Nations in Gabon.
The Super Eagles of Nigeria will miss the 2017 edition of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) after losing by a lone goal to the Pharaohs of Egypt on Monday in Alexandria.
Although, it was 0-0 at half time, the Egyptians always looked more likely to win the match having rattled the Nigerian defence on many occasions in the first half.
The Nigerians were limited to short passes, unable to convert their possession into attempts on goal.
The second half saw the Pharaohs maintaining the momentum and finally got their goal in the 65th minute.
Ramadan Sobhy shot towards the Nigerian goal and the ball rolled under goalkeeper Akpeyi’s arm thinking his defence line would clear it.
The Eagles’ introduction of Alex Iwobi failed to produce the spark seen in the reverse leg in Kaduna and the Egyptians saw out the match to seal their qualification for the AFCON.
The Eagles went into the Alexandria game in dire need of a win to give them a boost for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations ticket but the resilient Pharaohs ensured that the 3-time champions miss out for the second consecutive edition.
Nigeria’s chances became slimmer following Chad’s withdrawal from the AFCON qualifiers, as Egypt topped the group, leading Nigeria with two points and Tanzania on one point.
The win has now created an insurmountable 5-point lead for Egypt as only the match against Tanzania is left to play.
Super Eagles Interim Coach, Samson Siasia, says there is no room for complacency in Alexandria.
Siasia’s statement is coming as the Eagles get set to take on the Pharaohs of Egypt on Tuesday evening in a battle of supremacy in group G of the 2017 AFCON qualifier.
He insisted that this is the time the team must break the jinx of never defeating the Egyptians since 1990.
The coach added that all players are aware of this fact, stressing that whoever gets to play must fight very hard for the country.
The game has been scheduled for 5.35PM Nigerian time.
The Egyptians forced the Super Eagles to a 1-1 draw first leg of the AFCON qualifier, which was played before a massive crowd of supporters inside the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna, northwest Nigeria.
Following Chad’s withdrawal from the race, Egypt top the group with four points, with Nigeria second on two points and Tanzania on one point.
The Eagles go into the Alexandria game in dire need of a win to give them a boost for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations ticket.
Super Eagles first choice goalkeeper, Carl Ikeme, has been ruled out of the match due to illness.
The Super Eagles of Nigeria conceded a late goal against the Pharaohs of Egypt to draw their AFCON qualifier 1-1 in Kaduna.
With the draw, the Eagles failed to boost their chances of featuring at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) holding in Gabon.
The first half of the AFCON qualifier, which was played before a massive crowd of supporters inside the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna, had ended goalless with Nigeria taking a while to settle in the game.
Samson Siasia’s men eventually became dominant, but lost key battles in the midfield, giving the Egyptians some confidence.
The second half started with the Super Eagles maintaining the pressure as they needed an outright win to overtake Egypt who led the qualifying group by two points.
Minutes after goalkeeper Carl Ikeme rescued Captain Mikel Obi from scoring an own goal, Nigeria got the lead.
Oghenekaro Etebo gave Nigeria the hard-fought lead in the 59th minute, tucking in a rebound from Kelechi Iheanacho that rattled the cross bar.
Egypt’s El-Shenawy produced the masterclass defending in the 81st minute with a touchline clearance from second half substitute, Victor Moses’ well taken attempt at goal off a layoff from another substitute, Alex Iwobi.
The introduction of Moses and Iwobi seemed a perfect one sure to secure the match for the Eagles but it was heartbreak for Nigerians as Mohammed Salah leveled for Egypt after a moment of poor defending by Nigeria in the 90th minute.
The Eagles travel to Egypt in few days for the return leg.
Super Eagles and Chelsea midfielder, Mikel Obi, will slug it out with Ghana and Aston Villa’s Jordan Ayew and Senegal/West Ham’s Cheikhou Kouyate, in the January shortlist for the African player of the month in the English Premier League.
Mikel has been impressive in the starting line-up for Chelsea under interim manager, Guus Hiddink, and his club have been unbeaten in 8 games since the departure of former manager, Jose Mourinho.
According to the organisers, the focus is on African players who are making contribution in their own way, in their clubs’ trying times’.
Apart from Kouyate whose West Ham is certainly riding high, getting impressive results, the other two nominees are having a season to forget in their respective clubs.