Super Eagles Chief Coach, Sunday Oliseh yesterday explained why he left out Chelsea of England midfielder, John Mikel Obi from his list of players invited for the forthcoming 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier against Tanzania. Oliseh who revealed this at a media parley in Abuja said he made several phone calls including text messages to Obi’s number but he never responded to any.
The former international who reluctantly spoke about the issue of Obi revealed that he has no bias against anybody adding that under him, the national team will not favour or malign any Nigerian player.
“Well this issue is an enigma and we have been trying to understand it but I am in the dark personally, and with my assistants we spent time about 11 days in and around Europe talking to players, watching games. We contacted each of the players, call them up, call the clubs and eventually met with the players.
“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 Arsenal. 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.
After the game he came to my hotel and we met and I told him my plans for the national team. I left to Liverpool to meet the other player and I spent about six hours to go there and back but there was no response from Mikel until I returned here.
I think it was yesterday (Wednesday) that I saw a missed call, so at the moment I don’t know what the situation is. For me everybody is the same and will be treated the same.”
He also gave words of encouragement to the home based players by stating that any of them that proves his worth will be given the opportunity to play, if they were better than their foreign based compatriots.