16th August, 2016
The Nigerian U-23 team at the Olympics holding in Brazil has warned the Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Solomon Dalung to stay away from the team.
The players whose next match puts them up against Germany in the Semi-Finals of the competition described the Sports Minister as a distraction to the team and hence his visit to the camp is unnecessary.
According to reports, the team warned the Sports Minister and his delegation against coming anywhere close to the dressing room before and during the match.
One of the top players in the team on Monday night said: “We are set for the semi final clash with Germany.
“We have perfected our game plan to qualify for the final and win the gold medal for Nigeria like our 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games colleagues”.
Dalung incurred the wrath of the players shortly before the quarter final match against Denmark when he said the team would not receive any winning bonus, except the camp allowance all Team Nigeria athletes will be paid.
“I spoke with the captain of the team John Mikel Obi and I explained to him that match bonuses are not paid to players except during the World Cup or Africa Cup of nations but not in Olympic or Commonwealth Games. This is their first appearance at the Olympics so the players may not know that they don’t pay match bonus at games,” he said.
“We have paid all outstanding camp allowance for the Rio Games qto the players so we owe them nothing. On the salaries of Siasia, the federation has admitted that they owe him for 5months. He was owed before he agreed to take the team to Atlanta so, making it an issue now after qualifying for the quarterfinals is not in the interest of the country.
“I have appealed to the coach and the players to put the country first before personal interest. All other issues that need to be addressed will definitely be addressed after the Olympics.”