Eagles captain, John Obi Mikel, insists he has no regret representing Nigeria at the Olympic Games in Brazil in the summer, even as he has debunked reports he is being punished by Chelsea for the decision.
Mikel has not featured for Chelsea under new manager, Antonio Conte, as it seems he has fallen out of favour with the manager after missing a pre-season tour because he opted to play in the Olympic Games.
Although he insists he does not regret choosing to represent Nigeria at the Games, he however, has clarified report by Super Eagles technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr, that opting for the Olympics was the reason he has been left on the bench at the Stamford bridge.
In a statement on his Twitter, he said: “I’d like to clarify that the recent media claim that I’ve been punished by Chelsea for participating at the Rio 2016 Olympics are completely inaccurate.
“Unfortunately, comments made by Gernot Rohr before Sunday’s 3-1 win over Algeria were both mistranslated and taken out of context by the media as English isn’t Mr Rohr’s or much of the Nigerian media’s first language.
“To be absolutely clear, Mr Conte and Chelsea were always in support of my captaincy of the Nigerian team in Rio.
“The manager gave me his full blessing to participate at the Olympics and even encouraged me to bring back the gold medal- something I spoke to the media about that time.
“It goes without saying that there’s nothing but absolute respect between myself, the Nigerian national team and Chelsea FC, something that was demonstrated by Mr Rohr’s recent visit to Cobhams.
“My only focus now is on winning more silverware with Chelsea and getting Nigeria to the 2018 World Cup. Two challenges I can’t wait to face.”