Mikel Obi As Olympic Team Captain

Mikel Obi has been announced as captain of the Nigerian Olympic team to the Rio 2016 Olympics, he will be assisted by female table tennis star Funke Oshonaike.

This was confirmed in a statement by the Sports Ministry which explains the reasons behind their selection largely pegged to their experience and consistency with their various national teams.

Reaction have trailed the selection of the Chelsea midfielder owing to the fact that he is having his foretaste of the event while there are several others who have been to the Olympics and understand how it works in that regard. In specific terms, Oshonaike is representing Nigeria at the Olympics for the sixth time after making her debut in Atlanta 1996.

The Nigeria Olympic Committee through its Secretary, Comrade Tunde Popoola denied knowing anything about how the captain was selected as it is the usual practice to meet with the sports ministry before such announcement is made.

There are several other athletes who many thought could have been named as captain and leader of the team, Segun Toriola (he has been representing Nigeria since 1992, Blessing Okagbare etc.)

Records also have it that apart from club honours, Mikel has also won quite a number of laurels with the national football team which may measure up when juxtaposed with other athletes. Is there anything wrong with his selection?

He is a Nigerian, a senior team and experience footballer at that, without doubts, he would represent the nation and lead the team well in Brazil, as he has taken a right step forward with his recent donation of USD30,000 dollars to the team in the United states camp.

The interesting twist in Mikel’s selection is that there was no coordinated approach to before his selection as captain which does not again portray the Nigerian sports ministry in good light. Controversy is the least the Olympic team needs at this time. It is however important that the Sports Minister ensures that due process and team work is largely considered in critical decision making.


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