Nigerian midfielder, John Mikel Obi has rubbished comments credited to the Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr claiming he was being punished at Chelsea for participating at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in August. Mikel maintained that the national team manager’s remark was taken out of context by the Nigerian media adding that he got the club’s backing to attend the event. The 29 year-old has however released a statement to that effect.

“I’d like to clarify that the recent media claim that I’ve been punish the Suoeed by Chelsea for participating at the Rio 2016 Olympics are completely inaccurate.

“Unfortunately, comments made by Gernot Rohr before yesterday’s 3-1 win over Algeria were both mistranslated and taken out of context by the Nigerian media as English isn’t Mr Rohr’s or much of the Nigerian media’s first language.

“To be absolute 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.”