Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Barrister Solomon Dalung has announced that that John Obi Mikel is captain of Team Nigeria to the Rio Olympics but the decision has not gone down well with many.

Immediate past spokesman of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, Tony Nezianya told the Vanguard that a veteran of the team would have been most suitable for the position. “I must tell you that I find Mikel’s appointment controversial. He has just come into the team and there is Segun Toriola, a veteran of the Games, who is breaking an African record of having attended the most number of Olympic Games.

“With Rio Olympics, he will be making his seventh consecutive Olympics. He should have been given that honour with the captaincy of Team Nigeria instead of creating an unnecessary controversy.”

Nezianya said Mikel Obi would have been more suited to being captain of the U-23 Dream Team than the national team. “Mikel was brought in as an overage player who happens to be the captain of the national team. They should have let him play his game quietly, not as captain of Team Nigeria.” Giving his thoughts on whether the the minister was right to appoint the team captain or if it was the function of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, Nezianya said:“The NOC and the Ministry of Sports work as partners.

Matters like that are discussed behind closed doors before such announcements are made. “I am not competent to say anything on this because I do not know whether the minister and the NOC agreed before the announcement.” Basketball coach, Adeka Daudu in a thinly veiled jibe said: “God said in the Bible, that my people perish for lack of knowledge. May it not be our portion”.