Mikel refuses to pay fine
Nigeria midfielder John Obi Mikel has declared he will not pay a fine for reporting late to training.
Last Updated: 06/10/11 8:55pm
The Nigeria midfielder John Obi Mikel has shifted his stance and declared he will not pay a fine for reporting late to training.
The Chelsea player was fined $5,000 after failing to join the Super Eagles's 22-man squad by midnight on Tuesday, instead arriving at the team hotel early on Wednesday morning.
Mikel had appeared to have put the incident behind him and was focused on Saturday's crucial 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Guinea, but in a u-turn now insists he did nothing wrong and will not pay the fine.
He said: "No, I don't think I will pay any fine because I did not do anything wrong. I have reported to the camp and I have a very, very genuine reason (for not coming until Wednesday).
"If the manager (Samson Siasia) would tell Nigerians my reason, anyone in that situation will reason with me."
Mikel is believed to have gone to the central town of Jos to visit his father, who was recently freed after being kidnapped. The midfielder revealed that no Nigeria team official has yet told him that he should pay the fine.
Nigeria need to win this weekend to topple Guinea from the top of qualifying Group B.