National Under-23 team coach Samson Siasia on Friday named his 18- man squad for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Brazil –with the Super Eagles captain Mikel Obi and South Africa-based goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi the overage players on the list.
Erhun Obanor, who has been a regular player for the side, is the surprise exclusion from the squad. Siasia’s decision to place Germany-based striker Taiwo Awoniyi on the standby list is another surprise.
Also on the standby list are Stanley Dimgba, Godwin Saviour and Yusuf Bala.
South Africa 2013 Africa Cup of Nations winners Godfrey Oboabona and Kenneth Omeruo, as well as Belgium-based attacker Simon Moses failed to make the cut. Siasia had named them in his 35-man provisional squad for the tournament.
Senior national team players William Ekong and Oghenekaro Etebo made the squad alongside Azubuike Okechukwu, Usman Mohammed, Sincere Seth, Junior Ajayi,
Italy-based Sadiq Umar, Saturday Erimuya and Kingsley Madu.
Others are Saliu Popoola, Imoh Ezekiel, Aminu Umar, Shehu Abdullahi, Ndifreke Effiong, Stanley Amuzie and Chile 2015 FIFA Under-17 World cup winner Emmanuel Daniel.
Nigeria are drawn against Japan, Colombia and Sweden in Group B in the Rio 2016 men’s football event. The competition is for Under-23 players. Each team is allowed three overage players.
Atlanta ’96 Olympic Games champions Nigeria will represent Africa in Rio alongside Algeria and South Africa.
The African champions opening their Rio 2016 campaign against Japan in Manaus on October 4.
Meanwhile, Mikel scored for Chelsea in their 8-0 pre-season victory over Austrian club Atus Ferlach on Thursday.
Mikel netted in the 35th minute of the friendly played behind closed doors as the Blues intensified preparations for the new season.
Goalkeepers: Daniel Akpeyi, Emmanuel Daniel
Defenders: Sincere Seth, William Troost-Ekong, Saturday Erimuya, Kingsley Madu, Shehu Abdullahi, Ndifreke Udo Effiong, Stanley Amuzie
Midfielders: John Obi Mikel, Okechukwu Azubuike, Usman Mohammed, Saliu Popoola
Strikers: Junior Ajayi, Oghenekaro Etebo, Aminu Umar, Sadiq Umar, Imoh Ezekiel
Standby: Stanley Dimgba, Godwin Saviour, Yusuf Bala, Awoniyi Taiwo