Alex Iwobi’s participation at the Olympic Games for Nigeria remains in doubt as his club Arsenal are yet to commit to releasing him for the Games.
The 20-year old is one of the players Nigeria U23 coach Samson Siasia has been expecting to take to Brazil, and despite earlier assurances from the Gunners that the player would be available, it is now unclear if he will be allowed to participate.
Iwobi started the last season as a fringe player at the Emirates and was allowed to travel to Nigeria on a few occasions to train with the Nigeria U23 squad but having established himself in the squad later on, the Gunners are now having second thoughts on releasing him.
“We respect that, and also the possibility that he will go to the Olympic Games, that he will also go to the Africa Cup of Nations and travel a bit more than he would have done here,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger had said sometime last year.
And according to a fcnaija.com source, the Nigeria Football Federation is now trying to convince the Gunners to allow the youngster play for Nigeria at the Games.
“The NFF have been discussing with Arsenal over the possibility of having Alex Iwobi play for Nigeria at the Olympic Games,” the source said.
If Iwobi were to be released by Arsenal, it means he will miss pre-season and the start of the season as well, a prospect they are trying to avoid.