Fatai Atere, a member of the 1985 Nigeria Under-17 team, has described the N2m cash gift awarded to each member of that class by President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday as disappointing.
Speaking after shortly after the ceremony at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Atere said he felt disappointed to be given ‘only two million naira’ after over 30 years since their historic achievement, and says he wouldn’t have left his base in the United States if he knew what they were getting.
“It is disappointing to be honest,” he began. “After over 30 years and it is only two million naira they gave us. I thought it was the two hundred million naira they initially mentioned but to give us two million after all these years is not right.
“If I knew it would be two million naira, I wouldn’t have left my base in America,” he said.
Atere, who later captained Nigeria the then Under-16 World Championship in 1987, however thanked President Buhari for remembering them.
“I appreciate and thank the President for remembering us after 30 years, I thank him for that. I am also happy to see some of my old teammates as well,” he added.
Nigeria won the very first edition of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup, which was then known as the Kodak Under-16 World Cup.