Wednesday Jun 22, 2016. 16:20
AfricanFootball.com can exclusively reveal that Chelsea star and Nigeria skipper Mikel Obi barely escaped a ban from the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) after he stayed away from a recent testimonial in honour of Joseph Yobo without a cogent reason.
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Mikel was excused by the NFF from two recent friendlies against Mali and Luxembourg so as to feature in a farewell game for ex-Eagles skipper Yobo, but he chose to stay away.
“Mikel was to be banned for staying away from the Yobo match because he was in Nigeria, he was in Lagos, and preferred not to be in Port Harcourt for the game even when he was specially excused to represent the NFF there,” a top source close to the NFF technical committee told AfricanFootball.com
“All the same, they still plan to discipline him one way or the other, but it won’t be as severe as a ban from the Eagles now.”
It was decided this was not the best time to ban the star midfielder, who is lined up to feature at the Rio Olympics in August and thereafter lead Nigeria in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, which begin in October.
It was further learnt that Mikel stayed away from the Yobo Testimonial because he did not headline the promotion leading to the game.