Mikel pulls out of South Africa game

The Chelsea midfielder will not play Wednesday’s game against Bafana Bafana in Durban due to a stomach bug according to the national team's coach

Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel will not play in Wednesday’s Nelson Mandela Challenge between Nigeria and South Africa due to an infection.

The 26-year-old was expected to lead the African champions against their hosts at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, the site where he masterminded a 4-1 demolition of Mali in the Africa Cup of Nations last February.

Coach Stephen Keshi was quoted by KickOff: “Mikel has been withdrawn from the squad. He has a stomach bug.”

He joins the duo of Emmanuel Emenike and Kenneth Omeruo who had earlier withdrawn from the game.

It will be a big blow to the Super Eagles as they hoped to use this game to perfect tactics ahead of their final 2014 Fifa World Cup Group F qualifying game against Malawi next month.