African Sport

Nigerian Olympic Football Team Stranded in Atlanta Following Disagreement Over Chatter Flight


A cloud of uncertainty still hovers over the Nigeria U23 team despite a “heart to heart” conversation between minister of Sports, Barr Solomon Dalung and the captain of Team Nigeria John Mikel Obi.

Sports Vanguard reports that as at 9 p.m (Nigerian time) on Wednesday, the team was still waiting for an official from the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) to send the money meant for their chartered flight to Manaus, venue of their opening match against Japan on Thursday which will be early morning Friday in Nigeria(2 a.m.)

Sources claim Dream Team VI coach Samson Siasia had the look of a dejected man as the morale of the players was so low ahead of their departure for the Games, and they expressed their disappointment with sighs and hisses.

The U23 team was scheduled to travel to Rio last Friday but the trip was shifted to Sunday before being moved to Tuesday (yesterday) as the Sports Minister made assurances of a chartered flight to ease their travel concerns.

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However, it is barely 2 days to the kickoff of the quadrennial Games (and their first match) and they are still left in the cold, with their chances of a successful outing further jeopardized.

Meanwhile Nigeria’s Olympic wrestling team finally arrived Rio after missing a connecting flight at Sao Paolo and staying over on Tuesday.

On arrival the team went for accreditation at the Athletes Olympic village, with training set to continue on Wednesday after a day of rest.

President of Nigerian Wrestling Federation, Dr Daniel Igali said they intend to sort out training modalities before the commencement of the Games.

“Hopefully we can work out the issue of training partners before the end of the opening ceremony on the 5th of August.”

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