The Nigeria U-23 team, Dream Team VI, are having a nightmare in Atlanta, Georgia, where they have literally been stranded for days and now look destined to arrive in Brazil barely hours before their opening game against Japan in the men’s football event.
PREMIUM TIMES understands that morale among the players is at the lowest with some already threatening to return to their various clubs if they fail to make the trip to Brazil today as again promised by the sports ministry.
One of the livid players told fcnaija.com that it was unheard of that the country’s players were subjected to so much “torture”, battling to get to Brazil when their opponents are fully on ground and focused on the match ahead.
“This is nonsense. What are we supposed to do now? Just sit in America when the Games are happening in Brazil? We don’t even know when we are leaving and I tell you if we don’t leave today, I will just pack my bags and return to my club,” said the player who asked not to be named.
The Nigerian Olympic football team were initially scheduled to leave for Rio last Friday, then it was moved to Monday, and then Tuesday, and then Wednesday and at the last check, the players were still in their hotel rooms in Atlanta, United States as at 8pm Nigerian time.
Updates served by the team’s media officer, Timi Ebiakagboro, suggested that there have been intervention by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to save the country from being humiliated.
“Beauty of things here is that Veepee, the Info minister and all other FG partners are doing everything humanly possible to fly us to Manaus,” Mr Ebiakagboro tweeted.
Mr. Ebiakagboro also posted pictures of Coach Samson Siasia and Captain Mikel Obi discussing with the individuals in charge of the team’s travelling.
“Head coach Siasia and Mikel putting heads together to work out things, Siasia is fully in charge here,” the posts read.
“Sports minister Dalung just spoke with coach Siasia now, all hands on deck to ensure the Dream Team leaves Atlanta.
“Happening now Coach Siasia, the man handling the flight arrangement, Mikel finalizing the details on the flight.”