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Siasia warns Musa, Iwobi, Omeruo

NATIONAL Under-23 team coach Samson Siasia has vowed to pick his Rio 2016 Olympic Games squad based on current form, warning big-name Super Eagles players thought to have booked their seats on the plane to Brazil It won’t be a piece of cake to board the flight.
Atlanta’ 96 Olympic Games men’s football champions Nigeria have been drawn in Group B alongside Sweden, Colombia and Japan in the 16-nation tournament at Rio 2016.
Siasia, who has been racking his brains to name his final 23-man squad for the August 3-20 Games, insisted on Thursday he would select the best players available.

CSKA Moscow forward Ahmed Musa, Arsenal’s rising star Alex Iwobi, Turkey-based defender Kenneth Omeruo and Nigeria captain Mikel Obi are believed to have already been listed for the summer Olympics by Siasia.
But the senior national team first-teamers could watch the Olympics on television judging by Siasia’s revelation that the majority of the squad that won the Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations in Senegal last year would be given priority access to the Rio-bound plane.
Against all odds, the Tunisia ’94 Africa Cup of Nations winner Siasia guided Nigeria to the Senegal 2015 title after beating Algeria 1-0 in the final. Both finalists and third-placed South Africa qualified for the 2016 Olympics.
Nigeria’s Etebo Oghenekaro won the tournament’s Golden Boot after scoring five goals, while his captain Okechukwu Azubuike emerged as the Most Valuable Player of the championship. Among other Nigerian players who impressed at the competition are Chisom Chikatara, Junior Ajayi and goalkeeper Emmanuel Daniel.
“We are not going to select players because they play for the Super Eagles or because they are still under the age bracket,” AfricanFootball.com quoted Siasia as saying on Thursday.
“They have to compete with those players who actually qualified the team for the Olympics.”
However, the former Eagles manager, who confirmed he had sent a provisional list of 60 players for the Games to the Nigeria Football Federation, hinted that Chelsea’s Mikel could make his squad for the Rio Games.
Siasia omitted Mikel from his the Beijing 2008 Olympics after he stayed away for the qualifiers. Argentina, with Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi and PSG’s Angel Di Maria, beat Nigeria 1-0 in the final.
“I guess that because Mikel missed out the last time, he wants to make up for it,” Siasia said.
“Not only that, the last couple of games he has played for the Eagles, he has been playing very well, and if he wants to be part of the team, of course he is welcome, but as I said we have to look at the positions we really, really need people”.
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