Nigeria coach Sunday Oliseh has revealed why Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel was dropped out of the squad for next month’s 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Tanzania in Dar es Salaam.
Speaking with newsmen on Thursday, August 20, Oliseh shockingly said that he was snubbed by Mikel during his recent trip to England which prompted him to drop the Chelsea star from the squad to face Tanzania.
According to Oliseh, attempt to reach out to Mikel before the Community Shield game against Arsenal were declined by the 28-year-old.
He said: “I met with the players when I went to England on Thursday, the day Chelsea was coming back from a tour before they played Arsenal in the Community Shield.
“I put a call through to John Obi Mikel. I called him four times, the phone kept ringing. I sent him a text message, I got no response. I called [Victor] Moses, the phone rang three times.
“And I spoke with [Moses], I told him to concentrate on his game and after the game he came to my hotel room we spoke and I made him understand that my priority is building a new team and everybody is starting from zero and I needed to see players playing.
“From there I [made] a trip to Liverpool there is no secret anymore, you all know about it [meeting with Jordan Ibe] everybody knows. I spoke with other players and their parents and I never got a call back from Obi Mikel until I travelled back home. But just yesterday I saw a missed call on my phone so at the moment I don’t know what the situation is now.
“For me everybody is the same and every player we call answers. To us it’s not up to me but I want to clear one thing if anybody wants to play for the Super Eagles we will all be treated the same way.
“I even told the players playing at home that home based player for me doesn’t exist, if you are a better player in Nigeria we will play you. The thing is that I have not spoken to him and I made efforts but no response, so I don’t know what to do. You people should tell me what to do, I don’t know.”
Meanwhile, Charles Boniface Mkwassa, the head coach of Tanzania’s national football team, has fired a stern warning to the Super Eagles and Sunday Oliseh ahead of September 5 AFCON 2017 qualifier.