Minister of Youths and Sport development Solomon Dalung has stated that the national U-23 football team have been paid all outstanding allowances.
The minister also said that footballers were not entitled to match bonuses during the Olympics. He urged the team to put Nigeria above personal interests.
Before the team’s victory over Denmark in the quarter finals, the players had threatened to boycott the game over unpaid bonuses and allowances.
Dalung said the team’s outstanding camp allowances for 11 days were paid on Saturday.
Dalung stated, “I spoke with the captain of the team Mikel Obi and I explained to him that match bonuses are only paid to players during the World Cup or Africa Cup of Nations but not at the Olympic or Commonwealth Games. This is their first appearance at the Olympics so the players may not know that they don’t pay match bonuses at the Games.
“We have paid all outstanding camp allowances for the Rio Games to the players so we owe them nothing. On Siasia, the federation has admitted that they owe him five months salaries. He was owed before he agreed to take the team to Atlanta, so making it an issue now after qualifying for the quarter-finals is not in the interest of the country. I have appealed to the coach and the players to put the country first before personal interest. All other issues that need to be addressed will definitely be addressed after the Olympics,” the minister said.
Dolapo is a writer and journalist who works with YNaija. He has interests in Christianity, politics and sports.
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