Following the soaring performances of the Nigerian U-23 team at the ongoing Rio Olympic 2016 in Brazil, the federal government has decided to foot the shoes of its responsibilities after Ministry of Youth and Sports has refunded the $4,600 paid by the team’s captain, Mikel Obi in Sao Paulo on their way to Savador.
It was believed that the Ministry was intrigued by the commitment displayed by the Dream Team on Saturday as it trashed its quarter-final contenders, Denmark 2-0 to move to the semi-final of the soccer.
Prior to this, it was discovered that the Captain of the Nigerian side, John Mikel Obi had payed some of the outstanding hotel bill for the team from his personal money before they departed to Salvador for the Q/Final game against Denmark.
Meanwhile, the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports has again assured players and officials of the team that they will be given all that is due to them.
Addressing the players and officials after the defeat of Denmark in Saturday’s quarter final match in Salvador, the Sports Minister, Barrister Solomon Dalung, represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr. Chinyeaka Ohaa, said: “I am happy to be a Nigerian, because in spite of all the challenges, you have taken the world by storm; you have by your performance given happiness to more than 160 million Nigerians. Football is the biggest unifying factor in Nigeria today. From Mr. President to the average Nigerian you have made everyone proud today.
“I am humbled by your efforts, your commitment, your patriotism. I want to assure you that your sacrifices will not be in vain. Aside whatever the NFF have for you, we will as much as possible make you happy, if only you will be patient with us. Today, with your performance, I am convinced that you will get that gold.”
Responding, Captain Mikel Obi said: “We want to thank you for your fatherly support. In truth, there have been a lot of challenges, but every time we go onto the field, we forget about everything and make sure our fatherland comes first. We have done that so far and we will continue to do that, but we need more motivation.”