Nigeria's Mikel withdraws from Afcon qualifiers

Nigeria midfielder John Obi Mikel has withdrawn his name from contention for the Super Eagles' squad for their Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Seychelles next month.

Mikel, who captained the side at the World Cup in Russia earlier this year, will not travel to the island nation from his base in China, where he plays for Tianjin TEDA and only recently returned from injury.

Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr confirmed to KweséESPN that Mikel had called him to withdraw his name: "We spoke together. He is just coming back from injury and he needs to push his club commitments to get back in shape.

"After injury he needs time to get fit again."

Rohr is set to name his squad for the 8 September fixture on Friday, as the Super Eagles look to keep their qualification hopes alive for the 2019 tournament in Cameroon next June.

They lost their opening group game against South Africa last June, so a win against Seychelles, and a hope for a Bafana Bafana loss against Libya, would go a long way to seeing the Super Eagles on their way to Cameroon.

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