Only 18 of the 35 players on the provisional list for the Rio Olympic Games are currently training with the Nigeria Olympic football team in their training base in Georgia, Atlanta, USA, less than three weeks to their first game of the competition, fcnaija.com can confirm.
Nigeria Olympic team coach Samson Siasia had shortlisted 35 players on a provisional basis, with the final 18 plus three over-aged players selected from the pool but with 20 days to their opening fixture against Japan, only a fraction of those on the list have showed up.
The trio of Alex Iwobi, Godfrey Oboabona and Kelechi Iheanacho are out, due to club engagements, while Odion Ighalo – who is supposed to be one of the over-aged players – is a huge doubt.
John Obi Mikel, Wilfried Ndidi, William Troost-Ekong, Kenneth Omeruo, and Aminu Umar have all reportedly given their assurances they will join the team in the United States, but are all presently still involved with their respective clubs either in pre-season training or the Europa League qualifiers.
The deadline for the submission of the final squad list of 18 players and four stand-bye’s was July 14, even though teams can still replace players from the 18th of July until 24 hours to the start of the Games.