Following the latest controversy regarding Nigeria’s Olympic football team which saw them boycott training ahead of their quarterfinal game against Denmark, the country’s number four citizen and Speaker of The House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, has sent a passionate appeal to the team.
The team is yet to be paid their match bonuses and allowances since they left Nigeria for their United States training tour, while Coach Samson Siasia and his assistants are yet to be paid for the past five months.
Consequently, there are now feelers that the team will boycott the clash with Denmark, a development which was seemingly confirmed by Siasia in an interview he granted on Friday.
“Everything is upside down and the boys don’t want to play anymore. Whatever they want to do, I’m with them. They are right for fighting for their rights,” Siasia told Brila FM.
“I have not received my salary for the past five months; my assistants are also owed for the same number of months – that’s cruel on men who have families to cater for.
“At this point only President Buhari can sort this mess because everything is just disorganized,” the Nigeria U23 coach said disappointedly.
In reaction, Dogara, who was speaking against the backdrop Siasia’s complaints, said the Dream Team should take patriotism as a fulcrum of their campaign, as he will personally do everything within his powers to intervene in the matter.
“We will do all we can to ensure that all entitlements due to the team are paid, as we are already talking to relevant government agencies,” Dogara declared.
He noted that football being the major unifying factor in the country should be maximized by all for Nigeria’s continued joy and unity. “We will stop at nothing to ensure that we get the team to excel in Brazil and for Nigeria to recreate the watershed of Atlanta ’96.”