By Sulaiman Alao:
NEW SUPER EAGLES TECHNICAL ADVISER: The 7-Day Ultimatum Joke
With the seven-day ultimatum to get a new Technical Adviser for the Super Eagles fast running out, members of the Nigeria Football Federation’s Technical Committee have desperately been running helter skelter and stepped up the search by combing the nooks and crannies of popular markets in Nigeria and abroad.
Yours truly can exclusively reveal to you that some top Glass House officials were sighted at the Mile 12 market, Alaba International Market, Idumota Market as well as Ladipo Market all in Lagos in search of the new Technical Adviser for the team.
One of the officials who pleaded anonymity revealed that the NFF Technical Committee have also dispatched some officials to Cotonou, China and Dubai where Nigerians mostly go for shopping with the hope of purchasing a Technical Adviser for the Eagles.
The official further revealed the Technical Committee have since sought the help of ‘spiritualists’ to help hasten the finding of the ‘Tokunbo coach’ for Nigeria.
It would be recalled that the Executive Committee of the NFF had on Wednesday, July 20 issued a seven-day ultimatum to its Technical Committee to get a new Technical Adviser for the Super Eagles following the embarrassing rejection of the job by Frenchman Paul Le Guen.
The NFF have struggled to secure a new handler for the Super Eagles since the resignation of Sunday Oliseh in February.
RIO OLYMPICS: DREAM COME TRUE FOR MIKEL
Nigerian football superstar Mikel Obi will finally be a fulfilled player when he eventually dons the green and white jersey with the national Under-23 team at the 2016 Olympics football tournament billed to hold in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil next month.
Mikel who had previously featured for other Nigerian age-grade teams at the U-17 and U-20 levels before stepping up to the senior national team had missed the chance to play for the U-23 team at the Olympics on a number occasions with his failure to join the squad that won silver at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing being the most sensational.
Four years later and following the UEFA Champions League triumph with Chelsea in May 2012, Mikel returned home to Nigeria in celebration and at a press conference in Lagos where he was accompanied by fellow Nigerian international Chinedu Obasi, the talented midfielder rued the non-qualification of the team for the London Olympics that year saying he would have loved to play at the tournament as it is the only competition he is yet to feature in for Nigeria.
Mikel in retrospect had realised his folly of toying with the chance to play at the previous Olympics Games when he was still within the age limit in 2008 where the his former Flying Eagles teammates like Obasi, Solomon Okoronkwo, Isaac Promise, Dele Adeleye, Sani Kaita, Monday James, Onyekachi Apam and Ambrose Vanzekin won the silver medals after coming second behind a Lionel Messi-inspired Argentina who ran away with the gold medal with a 1-0 win in the finals.
However, it appears Mikel will be third time lucky this term as he will be part of the U-23 team squad to the Rio Olympics. Many had initially ruled out the possibility of coach Siasia picking Mikel as one of his over-aged players for the U-23 squad based on past issues between the coach and the player but Mikel had mended fences with Siasia while both were on national team assignment with the Super Eagles where Siasia dropped Ahmed Musa as the team captain and installed Mikel in his stead.
Mikel’s inclusion will greatly boost the team’s chances at the Games as the Chelsea star will be expected to bring his wealth of experience to bear on the team especially as other stars like Alex Iwobi, Odion Ighalo, Kelechi Iheanacho have been ruled out of the squad due to their club’s unwillingness to release them for the Games.
By the time he stars for Nigeria at the Olympics, Mikel will join the elite few of Nigerian players such as Chinedu Obasi who have featured for Nigeria at all levels of the national team.