The ministry of youth and sports has snubbed veteran athletes in Nigeria by naming Chelsea midfielder and Super Eagles captain John Mikel Obi has been named captain of Team Nigeria to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Mikel will be assisted by female table tennis star Funke Oshonaike at the Olympics scheduled to hold from August 5 to 21.
In a statement, the ministry of youth and sports explained that the choice of the duo was due to ‘their consistency, patriotism and dedication to national assignments.
His assistant Oshonaike will be making her sixth appearance at the Olympics in the women’s table tennis event after she debuted at Atlanta 1996.
Mikel is making his first appearance at the Olympic Games after being named as one of two over-aged players invited to the Nigeria U23 squad for the men’s football event.
“We believe that their combined efforts will bring goodwill to Team Nigeria and project the county’s image positively to the world.”
The statement added that Mikel is a young, patriotic footballer of international status and they 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.
Before now, there were speculations that the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) was likely to consider between basketball star, Olumide Oyedeji and super sprinter, Blessing Okagbare to captain Team Nigeria for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Olumide Oyedeji pulled out of the basketball squad to Rio for reasons best know to him