African Cup Of Nations: Mikel Obi To Miss Match Against Seychelles

 African Cup Of Nations: Mikel Obi To Miss Match Against Seychelles

Super Eagles’ skipper, John Mikel Obi has been excused from the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Seychelles next month as Coach Gernot Rohr release the team list for the match day two encounter on Friday.

Elsewhere, former Arsenal coach, Arsene Wenger has landed in Monrovia; Liberia is to receive the highest honour in Liberia on Friday.

Mikel Obi pulling out the Nation’s Cup qualifier was not as a result of injury but is intended to enable the 85-capped skipper to recuperate having just recovered from injury.

The former Chelsea midfielder however will play in his club’s home game against the Chinese Super League’s table topper Beijing Guoan this Saturday.

Both Coach Gernot Rohr and Mikel Obi had an agreement that it would be very strenuous for the skipper to make the nearly 20 hours flight from China to Nigeria and another six hour flight to Seychelles when the materials available are sufficient to execute the match.

Mikel will however be available for the other fixtures, especially the November revenge-taking duel with South Africa.

Meanwhile, the players likely to feature in Super Eagles’ next match against Seychelles will be unveiled on Friday, according to the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF.

Nigeria play away to Seychelles in Victoria on Friday, 7th September and will then face Libya’s Mediterranean Knights in Nigeria on Match day 3 in the second week of October.

According to the NFF, Rohr who inspected the facilities at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in company with NFF’s 2nd Vice President/LMC Chairman, Mallam Shehu Dikko and Super Eagles’ Team Administrator, Dayo Enebi Achor, will decide if Nigeria will face Libya at the arena on October 10.

After hosting Libya on 10th October, the three –time African champions will play away to the Knights three days later, before flying to South Africa for the return against the Bafana Bafana on November 17.

The last match of the series will see the Eagles hosting Seychelles on 22nd March 22 next year, the 39thanniversary of Nigeria’s first win of the trophy.

In the opener to the series in June 2017, the Eagles lost 0-2 to the Bafana Bafana in Uyo. Super Eagles lost their only match so far in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

The finals of the 32nd Africa Cup of Nations finals are scheduled to be staged in Cameroon next year summer.

Finally, Arsene Wenger is in Monrovia to receive the highest honour in Liberia on Friday. He will be inducted into Liberia’s Order of Distinction as a Knight Grand Commander of the Humane Order of African Redemption.

The former long-standing coach of heavily supported Arsenal is being honoured by the Liberian President, Gerorge Weah for the role the coach played in bringing the football icon to Europe to begin a career that flourished to the point that Wean became the first player to be named footballer of the year thrice in one season.

In 1995, the now statesman was World Footballer of the Year, Europe Footballer of the Year and African Footballer of the Year.

He remains the only African to have won the World Footballer of the Year and that of Europe.

He made his road to Europe after former Cameroon coach, Claude Le Roy, a Frenchman recommended Weah who was playing for Tonnerre Kalara to Wenger who was then handling Monaco. For that role too, President Weah is also honouring Claude Le Roy, with a national award.

Weah retired from football 15 years ago and ventured into politics. Last year. He was elected as president.

Mariam Harun

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