AFCON qualifiers: Nigerian captain Mikel missing from squad

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Lagos - Nigerian captain John Mikel Obi must be a disappointed man following his exclusion from the squad to play an African Cup of Nations qualifier against Seychelles and a friendly against Egypt at the end of the month.

It had been widely reported that coach Gernot Rohr had every intention of including Mikel for the two home fixtures in Asaba on March 22 and 26.

Hence, his exclusion came as a surprise, as the 31-year-old defensive midfielder has been looking good playing for English Championship club, Middlesbrough.

His last game with the Super Eagles was at last year's World Cup in Russia. However, a team spokesman said that all was not lost and that the coach was probably only resting him for bigger things to follow.

Nigeria have already secured qualification for this year's tournament in Egypt after failing to reach back-to-back events in 2015 and 2017.

Nigeria 23-man squad:

Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (Anorthosis Famagusta, Cyprus); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Katsina United); Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa).

Defenders: Olaoluwa Aina (Torino, Italy); Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor, Turkey); Valentine Ozornwafor (Enyimba); Chidozie Awaziem (Rizespor, Turkey); William Troost-Ekong (Udinese, Italy); Leon Balogun (Brighton & Hove Albion, England); Kenneth Omeruo (Leganes, Spain); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn, Germany)

Midfielders: Semi Ajayi (Rotherham United, England); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke City, England); John Ogu (Hapoel Be'er Sheva, Israel).

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Al Nassr, Saudi Arabia); Victor Osimhen (Charleroi SC, Belgium); Moses Simon (Levante, Spain); Henry Onyekuru (Galatasaray, Turkey); Odion Ighalo (Shanghai Shenhua, China); Alex Iwobi (Arsenal, England); Samuel Kalu (Bordeaux, France); Paul Onuachu (FC Midtjyland, Denmark). -  Nampa/ANA

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