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Mikel speaks on $5,000 lateness fine

ABUJA (AFP) – Chelsea midfielder John Mikel Obi says he has drawn a line beneath the $5,000 fine imposed on him for reporting late to the Nigeria camp ahead of Saturday’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Abuja.


“That’s behind me. The focus should be on the match on Saturday, which we have to win to qualify for the Nations Cup,” Mikel said after the team’s training session on Wednesday.


The defensive midfielder was supposed to join up with the 22-man Nigeria squad on Tuesday but arrived at the team hotel early on Wednesday morning and was subsequently fined.


However, coach Samson Siasia has insisted that he remains very much a part of the team for Saturday’s crucial match against Guinea.


Nigeria need to beat Guinea to finish top of Group B and qualify for the Nations Cup, which will be staged in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea in January.


The Super Eagles are second on 10 points from five matches, three points behind leaders Guinea, with only the overall group winners guaranteed a ticket to the biennial tournament.

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