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Rio Olympics 2016: Arsenal not allowing star youngster to take part

Chris David
2.23K   //    08 Jul 2016, 00:25 IST
Alex Iwobi
Alex Iwobi came to the fore for the Gunners in the second half of the season

Nigerian coach for Rio Olympics 2016 Samson Siasia has expressed his frustration after Arsenal star Alex Iwobi and his father started ignoring his calls.

Siasia was hoping the Gunners forward could travel with the national side to Brazil to take part in this summer’s event in Rio de Janeiro. The player’s father had urged him to include his son in the national squad in the past.

However, Siasia claims he is saddened by the manner in which both the Gunners attacker and his father’s behaviour in regards to this issue.

"Alex Iwobi is not coming. I tried to call his father, but he wasn't picking up my calls. He used to call me frequently when he wanted his son to play for the country, but now that we need his son for the Olympics football tournament, he is not picking up my calls,” Nigeria's The Daily Post reported the coach as saying.

"But there is no problem; Alex remains my boy. I love him like my own son, but I am just disappointed that he and his father couldn't keep the promises they made to me."

Also read: Aaron Ramsey might miss start of Arsenal's new Premier League season

It is not the first the Nigeria Under-23 coach, who will lead the national side at the Rio Olympics has vented out his frustration. He even held conversations with Arsenal's chief negotiator in regards to the possibility of allowing Iwobi join Nigeria for the summer event in South America.

However, the North London club has issued an ultimatum to their player that should he decide to travel to Brazil for the Olympics, he will have an uphill task to find his place in the starting lineup for next season.

“I went to Arsenal and I saw Richard Law and he said that we still need to look at [whether or not Iwobi could go to Rio],”Siasia was quoted as saying by The Mirror.

“He said that he wants Iwobi to stay with Arsenal because they are having a new team and Alex is getting to play in the team for now.

“He said if he leaves to play for Nigeria at the Olympics, how is he going to be a part of the team and maybe someone is going to take his position.

“I said, well we have to meet half way because we are trying to give Alex a platform to show himself in the Olympics and he has to look at it that way too. He said we should continue to talk and we would see what we would do.”

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