Nigeria midfielder John Mikel Obi has been fined for arriving late for camping
Nigeria have fined midfielder John Mikel Obi for arriving late for Saturday’s crucial Africa Cup of Nations tie against Guinea.
The Chelsea player was slapped with the $5,000 fine for missing Tuesday’s deadline for the camp in Abuja.
Mikel arrived on Wednesday but officials are unhappy with his claim that a family matter prevented him.
“It was a collective decision taken by team officials,” Super Eagles spokesman Colin Udoh told BBC Sport.
“The deadline given to all the players to arrive in camp was lunchtime on Tuesday but officials were not satisfied with the reasons for his absence.
“Should Mikel prove his fitness, he will be in contention for selection on Saturday.”
Group B leaders Guinea need just a draw in Abuja to qualify for the 2012 event, a result that could eliminate Nigeria.
The Super Eagles have 10 points but a 1-0 win or any two-goal margin of victory will be good enough to see them depose the Syli Nationale at the top of the table.
Mikel has a history of falling out with coach Samson Siasia.
Siasia dropped Mikel for the 2008 Olympics over his attitude towards national team duties
The former international has come down hard on team discipline since he took charge of the Super Eagles.
Back in June, he slapped a two-match ban on Osaze Odemwingie after the West Brom striker left a training camp in March without permission.
Just last month Siasia dropped Vincent Enyeama after the Lille goalkeeper questioned the travel plans of the team to Madagascar for a Cup of Nations qualifier.
The wave of change under Siasia has divided opinions in the West African country.
A section of the media has been critical of the players’ attitude as Siasia strives to stamp his authority and discipline on the team.
However, others are cynical of the coach’s high-handed approach after recent fall-outs with Obafemi Martins, Osaze Odemwingie, Dickson Etuhu and Vincent Enyeama.
Meanwhile, Nigeria are sweating over the fitness of Heartland defender Chibuzor Okonkwo ahead of Saturday’s crucial Nations Cup qualifier against Guinea.
A thigh injury he suffered during a friendly against Argentina in Bangladesh stopped him from featuring in Heartland’s Federation Cup final triumph over Enyimba two weeks ago.
Despite participating in the warm-up on Tuesday, Okonkwo was conspicuously missing during the main training.