Despite being accused by Super Eagles coach Sunday Oliseh of ignoring him, midfielder John Obi Mikel has revealed that he is still available for Nigeria.
The midfielder was left out of the18-man list of invited foreign based Super Eagles players for next month’s2017 African Cup of Nations against Tanzania.
Oliseh has revealed that he tried contacting the midfielder during his recent visit to UK but was repeatedly ignored by the Chelseaplayer.
“I went to England on a Thursday and Chelsea was just coming back, we had fixed our visit to coincide with the end of their tour before they played ArsenArsenalal,” Oliseh said.
“I contacted Obi Mikel, called him on phone four times, the phone kept on ringing nobody picked it up, I sent him an SMS and got no response.
“But I called Victor Moses the phone rang three times and he picked it up and I spoke with him, told him to concentrate on his game.
Mikel’s representative John Shittu has however revealed that Mikel was not aware that Oliseh tried contacting him.
“Mikel sincerely missed the calls and wasn’t sure who called. Once he realised who it was he made efforts to reach Sunday Oliseh but could not speak to him.” Shittu told BBC Sports.
“It’s unfortunate that a miscommunication is being blown out of proportion in the media.
“Efforts are being made to sort things out amicably because Mikel is dedicated to Nigeria.
“For the sake of the country, everyone should support the coach and the players selected instead of focussing on other things that could affect the preparation.”
Shittu went on to reveal that the midfielder will never turn his back on Nigeria.
“Mikel will never turn his back on Nigeria,” Shittu said.
“He loves playing for his country and this is just a miscommunication between coach and player.”
This is not the first time Mikel will be accused of ignoring the invitations from the national team.
Former Super Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi revealed that the Chelsea midfielder did not reply his messages before he left him out of the team to face Chad in the 2017 African Nations Cup qualifiers in June.
“When I heard that Mikel was injured I tried severally to get him on phone to ask after his health but surprisingly he did not pick the calls. I sent text messages too but up till now that I speak with you he hasn’t called back or sent me text,” Keshi said at that time.
Mikel made his Super Eagles debut in in August 2005 and has scored four goals in 64 appearances. He last played for the Super Eagles in November 2014.