By Nurudeen Obalola:
Nigeria U-23s coach Samson Siasia has forwarded 22 names to FIFA as the country’s representatives for the Rio 2016 Olympics men’s football event, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
Among the 22, 18 are in the squad proper, while the other four are alternate players.
Leading the squad is Super Eagles captain Mikel Obi, who is not in camp with the team at the moment.
Mikel is in Austria with Chelsea as they undergo pre-season training.
Mikel, 29, is one of the overage players in the squad, along with goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi, 30.
The other overage player initially selected for the Games, Odion Ighalo, is not available.
Completesportsnigeria.com had exclusively reported back in May that Mikel, Akpeyi and Ighalo would be named as the squad’s three allowed overage players.
The other notable absentees in the squad are Manchester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho and Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi, who were both not released by their clubs.
Taiwo Awoniyi, who has been with the U-23s since Siasia took over the team, could not make the main list. The Liverpool striker is on the alternate list.
Super Eagles players William Ekong, Oghenekaro Etebo, Abdullahi Shehu and Stanley Amuzie, all U-23, are in the main squad.
Nigeria will face Japan, Sweden and Colombia at the group phase of the Games.
The squad plus shirt numbers, positions, dates of birth
1 Daniel AKPEYI Goalkeeper 8 March 1986
2 Muenfuh SINCERE Defender 28 April 1998
3 Kingsley MADU Defender 12 December 1995
4 Abdullahi SHEHU Defender 12 March 1993
5 Saturday ERIMUYA Defender 10 January 1998
6 William EKONG Defender 1 September 1993
7 Aminu UMAR Forward 6 March 1995
8 Oghenekaro ETEBO Midfielder 9 November 1995
9 Imoh EZEKIEL Forward 24 October 1993
10 John Obi MIKEL Midfielder 22 April 1987
11 Oluwafemi AJAYI Forward 29 January 1996
12 Popoola SALIU Midfielder 7 August 1994
13 Sadiq UMAR Forward 2 February 1997
14 Okechukwu AZUBUIKE Midfielder 19 April 1997
15 Ndifreke UDO Defender 15 August 1998
16 Stanley AMUZIE Defender 28 February 1996
17 Usman MUHAMMED Midfielder 2 March 1994
18 Emmanuel DANIEL Goalkeeper 17 December 1993
19 Sopuruchi DIMGBA Forward 29 March 1993
20 Taiwo AWONIYI Forward 12 August 1997
21 Saviour GODWIN Forward 22 August 1996
22 Yusuf BALA Goalkeeper 22 December 1996