World football governing body FIFA have confirmed that clubs are under no obligation to release their players for the Rio Olympic Games, a development which will surely not sit well with Nigeria U23 coach Samson Siasia.
Several players on the provisional list of 35 have been barred by their European clubs from representing Nigeria at the Olympic Games, despite pleas from the Nigeria Football Federation.
And FIFA have confirmed the club’s are not obliged to release their players for the Games.
“The men’s Olympic Football Tournament is not included in the men’s international match calendar 2014-2018, which applies to all FIFA competitions with age restrictions, and thus clubs are not under any obligation to release players for the men’s Olympic Football Tournament,” a FIFA spokesperson said.
“However, FIFA is asking for support from the clubs to allow players who are called up by their national teams to be given the chance to be part of the Olympic experience,” the spokesperson said further.