John Mikel Obi’s emergence as the captain of Team Nigeria to the Rio 2016 Olympics has been described as a development that would rob off positively on the Dream Team in their quest for a medal in the Games soccer event.
The sports ministry in a release yesterday disclosed that Mikel would captain Team Nigeria with table tennis queen Funke Oshonaike being the vice captain.
Chairman, technical committee of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Chris Green said yesterday that the choice of Mikel shows that football would deliver at the Games.
He however called for more support for the Samson Siasia tutored side as they step up their preparations for the Olympics.
“The choice of Mikel shows that football will deliver in Rio. But the team needs support to do that. All the other athletes going to fly Nigeria’s flag in Rio must be well motivated to win,” Green said.
Mikel, one of the three over-aged players invited to the national U-23 football team for the Games is making his first appearance at an Olympic Games.
For Oshonaike, the Rio outing would be her sixth Olympics appearance after she debuted at Atlanta ‘96.
The sports ministry noted that Mikel and Oshonaike were chosen because of their consistency, patriotism and dedication to national assignments.
“Mikel is a young, patriotic footballer of international status and we believe he will be a role model to the upcoming athletes while Funke Oshonaike is experienced and is one of the oldest athletes in the team. We believe that their combined efforts will bring goodwill to TEAM NIGERIA and project the county’s image positively to the world”.