AFCON Qualifiers: Why Mikel is Missing Again
Super Eagles captain John Obi Mikel is yet to feature for Nigeria in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifying matches and he would not do so again when the national team travels to Johannesburg to face South Africa's Bafana Bafana next month.
While Mikel has been excused on fitness grounds on past occasions, it has been revealed that he is opting out of the South Africa game for a completely different reason.
A source close to Mikel Obi informed www.sportsvllagesquare.com that Mikel and Rohr spoke and the player’s club, Tianjin TEDA is battling against relegation in the Chinese Super League.
The club is third from the bottom in the 16-team league and will need to win its remaining two matches to stay afloat.
Despite Mikel Obi’s goal against Shangahai Shenhua on Sunday, Tianjin TEDA still went down 2-4 at home.
Tianjin TEDA will be at home again on Wednesday November 7 against ninth placed Dalian Aerbin and away to second placed Guangzhou Evergrande on last matchday, November 11.
The invited Super Eagles players are supposed to report in Asaba on November 12.
Considering the rigours of playing two crucial league matches and the time difference as well as the long distance, Mikel will not be able to get back into Super Eagles training schedule for the encounter in South Africa.
As the captain of the Chinese club, he has the responsibility of steering Tianjin TEDA out of relegation waters and to avoid a situation where Nigerian skipper will be playing in Chinese lower division.
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