Mikel Obi had refused to honour an invitation to the Nigerian U-23 Olympic game qualifier against South Africa, angering many soccer-loving Nigerians with this attitude.
But his manager John Shittu in giving an explanation to the player%uFFFDs absence said there was an understanding between the player, himself and coach of the team, Samson Siasia.
"Mikel is a very patriotic young man and he is always willing to come and play for his country, but Nigerians are putting the boy under pressure," Shittu told kickoffnigeria.com.
"He did not come because there was a three-way understanding between him, the coach and myself. I was speaking with the coach every day."
He said the coach had decided against Mikel coming due to time constraint and convenience.
"Mikel had booked a flight to Lagos and would have arrived in Lagos late on Monday, but he would have only been able to get to Abuja on Tuesday and the coach considered it and said it would be better for him not to come at all as the game was on Wednesday," he explained.
"That does not mean he wasn%uFFFDt ready to come."