Abuja - The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has explained
the reason for the delay in payment of monies owing the Dream Team who are
competing in the football event of the Rio 2016 Olympics.
Dream Team were reported to have refused to train and
threatened to boycott the quarter final game against Denmark on Saturday.
Minister of Youth and Sports Solomon Dalung and NFF
President Amaju Pinnick have now moved quickly to douse feelings of discontent
in the Nigeria U23 team camp, ahead of Saturday’s clash.
Pinnick told said on Friday that he had spoken with Head
Coach Samson Siasia and that the team would certainly be in high spirit for the
clash with the Danes at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador on Saturday evening.
“I just finished a long telephone discussion with Siasia and
I explained to him the situation the NFF is in and why he has not received his
salary. As I explained last week, we received some money from CAF and I
directed that the money be used to offset the salaries of the U23 team coaches
and also for the Super Falcons’ coaches,” he said in a press statement.
“The money has come into the NFF account but it has to first
go into our TSA (Treasury Single Account) before we can access it and then use
it. The vouchers for the payment have already been done.
“Siasia confirmed that before I spoke to him, the NFF
General Secretary had also called him to explain the situation to him. We are
not unmindful of what our coaches are going through in this challenging period
and we praise them for their patriotism and hard work despite all these.”
Also read: Siasia rues defensive frailties as U23 face Denmark
Pinnick also commended the Sports Minister for his concern
for the team’s welfare. “I want to specially appreciate the Honourable
Minister, Barrister Solomon Dalung, who had already dispatched accountants to
the U23 team hotel to pay the allowances of players and officials before I
called the team.
“The Honourable Minister instructed the accountants to also
pay the four alternate players, who are not accredited for the Games. We
commend him for his efforts.”
The 1996 champions, who are also the reigning champions of
Africa, were scheduled to have a feel of the Arena Fonte Nova on Friday
evening, ahead of the clash with the Danes, who lost 4-0 to Brazil in their
final group match on Wednesday.
News24 reported that Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, has sent a passionate appeal to the national U23 team styled Dream Team V1, not to boycott its quarter final encounter against Denmark on Saturday, at the ongoing Rio 2016 Olympics.
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- News24 Nigeria