Friday, June 24

Mikel, Ighalo man 35-man Olympic squad

Mikel, Ighalo man 35-man Olympic squad

Samson Siasia's list has finally been released after a lot of speculation about the players that he would take to the Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel and Watford striker Odion Ighalo have been named in the 35-man Nigeria Olympic squad that will take part in final training in the United States next month.

The Nigeria Football Federation released the list sent in by coach Samson Siasia ending speculation about the identity of the over-23 players in the team as allowed by Fifa.

Defender Godfrey Oboabona and goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi are the other over-age players that will compete for three slots in the team.

Despite the on-going speculation over their availability for the Games in which clubs are not mandated to release players, Manchester City and Arsenal starlets Kelechi Iheanacho and Alex Iwobi were also included.

Siasia has asked for a final training camp in Atlanta, venue of Nigeria’s historic Olympic triumph 20 years ago, in order to “psychologically prepare my boys for victory in Brazil.”

Earlier in the week, the NFF confirmed a friendly match between the Nigeria the Mexico U23s for Saturday, July 2 at the Aguascalientes Stadium, home ground of Necaxa FC.

Nigeria will remain in the US after the friendly and will play Charleston Battery FC in Atlanta on Saturday, July 16. A game against the Honduras U23 team is also being planned for July 27.

Seventeen of the 35 players included in the team have already had full international experience with the Super Eagles as Siasia hopes to put up a good challenge to win gold this year after falling just short in his 2008 spell in charge.

Haugesund defender William Troost-Ekong and Kenneth Omeruo of Chelsea have been added to strengthen the squad following the poor showing at the Suwon Invitational Tournament last month.

However, teenage striker Victor Osimhen was left out due to his commitment to the Nigeria U20 side.

A final list of 18 will be released before the team leaves for Brazil where they have been drawn to face Sweden, Colombia and Japan in the preliminary stage.


Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa FC, South Africa), Yusuf Bala (Kano Pillars), Emmanuel Daniel (Enugu Rangers), Taiwo Abdulrahman (Kwara United), Ndubuisi Agu (FC Porto, Portugal), Junior Ajayi (CS Sfaxien, Tunisia), Stanley Amuzie (Olhanense FC, Portugal), Taiwo Awoniyi (Frankfurt FC, Germany), Okechukwu Azubuike (Yeni Malatyaspor, Turkey), Etor Daniel (Enyimba FC), Augustine Dimgba (Sunshine Stars), William Ekong (Haugesund FC, Norway), Saturday Erimuya (Kayseri Erciyespor, Turkey), Oghenekaro Etebo (CD Feirense FC, Portugal), Imoh Ezekiel (Anderlecht, Belgium), Saviour Godwin (Ostende, Belgium), Odion Ighalo (Watford FC, England), Kelechi Iheanacho (Manchester City, England), Alex Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England), Emiloju Julius (MFM FC), Kingsley Madu (AS Trencin, Slovakia), John Mikel Obi (Chelsea FC, England), Musa Muhammed (Istanbul Basaksehir, Turkey), Usman Muhammed (CF Uniao, Portugal), Wilfred Ndidi (KRC Genk, Belgium), Erhun Obanor (MFM FC), Godfrey Oboabona (Caykur Rizespor, Turkey), Kenneth Omeruo (Chelsea FC, England), Sodiq Saliu (Seraing FC, Belgium), Abdullahi Shehu (CF Uniao, Portugal), Moses Simon (KAA Gent, Belgium), Seth Sincere (Rhapsody FC), Ndifreke Udo (Abia Warriors), Aminu Umar (Osmalispor, Turkey), Sadiq Umar (AS Roma, Italy)

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