The talk then was that Super Eagles captain, Mikel Obi got his first name as a result of a mistake by officials in the NFF, who made an honest error switching Michael for Mikel during visa processing documentation.
It turns out that not only was that a barefaced lie, but also there could be a bigger conspiracy and its unravelling will shock if the claims by former NFF Technical Director and Head of the Pepsi Academy, Kashimawo Laloko are enough to ruffle your feathers.
Chief Laloko opened a can of worms on Brila FM’s Breakfast Show this morning, leaving dropped jaws and stunned looks in the room about his claims.
Laloko said he has documents to prove that Michael Obi – as he calls him – was a student of the academy but was illicitly yanked from the system and given a conjured name to hide his identity and aid him to secure a professional contract abroad.
Even more shocking was the allegation that fellow Super Eagles teammate, Joel Obi and Mikel Obi are siblings – and not relatives as they’ll have many believe.
Mikel wielded so much influence on the team, including on Coach Gernot Rohr’s selection in the build-up to the World Cup in Russia.
The influence grew so strong it threatened to disrupt the team’s preparation after a rumoured row between Mikel and his assistant captain, Ogenyi Onazi ensued.
That smoke was quickly quenched and a hasty recording of the two “playing a script” of a united front – as a lot of people argued – was shared on social media days later.
According to Laloko Rohr, lost control of the situation in camp and the perceived special treatment, remotely led to the flare-up between the team’s two principal players and further division of the squad.
“Joel Obi was at the 2018 World Cup, but he did not play a single match. The Coach put him there to satisfy Mikel Obi,” Laloko argued.
“The two are of the same Father and Mother – not just relatives. I don’t call him Mikel; Those who sold him gave him a new name. There was no mistake about his name it was deliberate,” said Laloko.