ABUJA: Nigeria have named Chelsea midfielder and Super Eagles captain Mikel Obi as captain of Team Nigeria at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Sports Minister Solomon Dalung also named Funke Oshonaike as the assistant team captain.
Mikel is one of the three over-aged players in the national under-23 football squad for the Games.
He is making his first appearance at an Olympic Games, after missing out on the 2008 edition in Beijing.
Table tennis star Oshonaike is making her sixth appearance at the Olympics after she made her debut at the Atlanta Games in 1996.
Mikel and Oshonaike were chosen because of their consistency, patriotism and dedication to national assignments, the minister said.
“Mikel is a young, patriotic footballer of international status and we believe he will be a role model to the upcoming athletes, while Oshonaike is experienced and is one of the oldest athletes in the team,” he added.
“We believe that their combined efforts will bring goodwill to Team Nigeria and project the county’s image positively to the world,” Dalung said.
The country’s Dream Team VI, Team Nigeria’ s male football side, is expected to depart for Rio from Atlanta in the U.S., where they have been training, on Friday.
Other athletes making up the team are however expected to leave Nigeria on the same day from Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city.