Nigeria Olympic team head coach Samson Siasia has appointed Chelsea midfielder Mikel Obi as captain of the team going into the men’s football tournament of the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Making the announcement on Saturday while meeting with players and other officials, Siasia said the choice of Mikel was automatic as he is the captain of the Super Eagles and also the captain of Team Nigeria to the Games.
“It’s just natural for me to pick Mikel as our captain,” Siasia said in a Nigeria Football Federation release made available to Completesportsnigeria.com.
“Aside from the fact that he is the captain of the Super Eagles, he is also Team Nigeria captain, so after meeting with both of them and explaining my position, I am pleased to say Azubuike who has been our captain understood and was happy to hand over the captain’s band to Mikel.
“It is a thing of joy for my team to produce the first footballer to captain Team Nigeria to the Olympics. This, to me, is more than gratifying.”
The players unanimously accepted Mikel as their captain and expressed delight at the role he has been playing since he joined the team. On his part, Mikel expressed joy at being made the captain of the team and said he sees it as an honor that must yield result in Brazil.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria U-23s will now depart Atlanta, United States of America for Brazil on Monday. The earlier arrangement was for the team to depart for Brazil in batches due to difficulties in securing seats for team, but the Nigeria Football Federation decided against that movement and is now thinking of either getting them to Brazil as a team or chartering a private plane to take the team directly to Manaus, venue of the first team’s first match.