Mikel Obi says he is committed to winning more silverwares for Chelsea and the Nigerian national team.
Mikel, 29, missed most of Chelsea pre-season as he helped his country win a bronze medal at the football event of the Summer Olympic Games.
He has yet to play for his London club this season even after he rejoined them in August and Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr suggested that the midfielder is being punished by Chelsea.
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Mikel on Sunday, November 13 released a statement denying those comments.
“Unfortunately, comments made by Gernot Rohr before yesterday’s 3-1 win over Algeria were both mistranslated and taken out of context by the Nigeria, as English isn’t Mr’Rohr’s or much of the Nigerian media’s first language,” part of Mikel’s statement read.
“To be absolutely clear, Mr Conte and were Chelsea were always supportive of my captaincy of the Nigerian team at Rio.
“The manager gave me his full blessing to participate in the Olympics, and even encouraged to bring back the gold medal.
“It goes without saying there is nothing but absolute respect between myself, Nigerian national team and Chelsea FC, something that was demonstrated by Rohr’s recent visit to Cobham.
“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 in the coming months.”
Before Super Eagles 3-1 win over Algeria on Saturday, November 12, Rohr claimed that his captain, Mikel has not been playing for Chelsea as a punishment for playing at the Olympics.
"There is a reason why Mikel is not playing for Chelsea right now and that reason is because he played for Nigeria at the Olympics," Rohr said.
"I cannot punish a player who loves his country and shows that he loves the green jersey.
"I spoke about this with Mikel and the club's technical director (Michael Emenalo). Mikel is training very well and he plays games in training with the big players at Chelsea."
In a recent interview with UK Sun, Mikel revealed that he does not regret playing in the Olympics.
“I have never been a guy who makes excuses in life and never shy away from responsibilities,” the 29-year-old said.
“Yes, maybe people will say the new manager was upset I left and went to the Olympics; that I didn't have a pre-season with the team.
“He probably thinks I don't care about the team, things like that.
“But I don't want to use those excuses. I have to keep training hard and make sure I change the manager's mind. If not, then we'll see what happens in January.
“But, no, I would never swap my Olympic medal for a place back in the Chelsea team.”
Mikel scored for the Super Eagles as they beat Algeria 3-1 in a World Cup qualifier.