By Toby Prince
John Shittu told BBC Sports that Mikel didn’t snub the coach on purpose; claiming the player never knew who called.
“Mikel sincerely missed the calls and wasn’t sure who called. Once he realised who it was he made efforts to reach Sunday Oliseh but could not speak to him,” he said.
“It’s unfortunate that a miscommunication is being blown out of proportion in the media.”
The coach had also admitted to be contacted by Mikel although it came somewhat late.
“I didn’t hear from Mikel to acknowledge my calls or text until I travelled back home (on 6 August).
“But after our training (on 19 August) I saw a missed call (from Mikel) on my phone so at the moment I really don’t know what the situation is now,” Oliseh said.
Mikel’s representative Shittu went on to clear the air about the player’s international future professing he still has a big role to play for his country.
“Mikel will never turn his back on Nigeria,” he maintained.
“He loves playing for his country and this is just a miscommunication between coach and player. Efforts are being made to sort things out amicably because Mikel is dedicated to Nigeria.”
Shittu however canvassed and solicited for support for the new coach who is on the verge of leading his country to his first assignment against Tanzania.
“For the sake of the country, everyone should support the coach and the players selected instead of focussing on other things that could affect the preparation,” he concluded.
Nigeria play Tanzania in Dar es Salaam on Saturday, September 5, in a 2017 African Cup of Nations qualifier.