Super Eagles captain, John Obi Mikel has apologised to Nigerian football fans over his absence from the team to confront Libya on Saturday.
The midfielder, who currently plys his trade with Tianjin Teda in China, blamed lack of full fitness for his absence, which also saw him miss the last African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier against Seychelles.
While many have described the 31-year-old’s absence as a stylish retirement from the national team, Mikel restated his commitment to Nigeria and has vowed to resume national team duties once he regains full fitness.
These were revealed by Super Eagles manager, Gernot Rohr in a pre-match press conference on Thursday in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom state capital.
Rohr said, “Mikel is still not fit and so he asked to be left out. It’s a physical problem.
“Once he is fit again and playing for his club, he will be back with us and I hope that will be soon. We hope he will be back for next month’s game in South Africa.”
After Saturday’s game, Nigeria will play the return fixture against Libya on Tuesday, October 16, in Tunisia, where the North African nation uses temporarily for its home games due to tension within its own territory.