Solomon Dalung, minister of Youth and Sports, has said that the Nigeria U-23 football team will not receive match bonuses at the on-going Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
According to him, match bonuses are not paid to players except during the World Cup or Africa Cup of nations. However, Dalung noted that the team’s outstanding camp allowances for 11 days were paid on Saturday, August 13, following the team’s threat to boycott the game against Denmark.
He said: “I spoke with the captain of the team John Mikel Obi and I explained to him that match bonuses are not paid to players except during the World Cup or Africa Cup of nations but not in Olympic or Commonwealth Games. This is their first appearance at the Olympics so the players may not know that they don’t pay match bonus at games.
“We have paid all outstanding camp allowance for the Rio Games qto the players so we owe them nothing. On the salaries of Siasia, the federation has admitted that they owe him for 5months.
He was owed before he agreed to take the team to Atlanta so, making it an issue now after qualifying for the quarterfinals 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.”
Nigeria U-23 team, who qualified for the semi-finals after beating Denmark 2-0, had threatened to boycott the quarter-final match against the Danes if their outstanding allowances and the five months salaries owed coach Samson Siasia were not paid. This prompted Dalung to order the payment of their camp allowances.
Team Nigeria captain John Obi Mikel and Aminu Umar were on the score sheet as the Nigerian U-23 put their troubles behind to beat Denmark 2-0 and qualify for the semi-finals, setting up a high profile clash against Germany in the round of four.