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#Rio2016: WATCH Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung Respond to Reports that Mikel Obi Paid $4,000 hotel bill for Dream Team



Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung has reacted to the issue of Team Nigeria’s Captain, Mikel Obi, paying $4,000 hotel bills for the players.

Dalung said that the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) took 10 extra officials, apart from the 25 stated by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to #Rio2016.

He said that the $4,000 was payment for the 10 “excess officials”. He also said that the IOC communicated to him that the 10 extra officials were involved in “sharp practices”.

He said that the Ministry of Sports paid back the $4,000 adding that team held the ministry hostage by using payment of the $4,000 as a condition for them to play quarterfinal game against Denmark.


Reacting to the development, the NFF rejected the minister’s comments, which it described as insinuations that the team being stranded in Atlanta was a hoax.

Chairman of the NFF Media and Publicity Committee, Hon. Suleiman Yahaya said the entire Board was shocked by the insinuations, as the NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, had been giving them updates of useful meetings he has been having with the Sports Minister since he arrived in Brazil.

“The NFF Board and Management are taken aback by these insinuations. The NFF President has been telling us of meeting between him and the Minister on how to avoid the kind of situation we got into in the USA in the future. So, the Minister’s latest statements are a bombshell.

We are not openly challenging the Minister, but we must set the records straight. To start, we do not have any partnership with Delta Airlines, a company that we owe much gratitude for the way it came to the rescue to airlift our team to Brazil. The names of NFF’s partners and sponsors are known to the public.

Secondly, the NFF is not aware of any receipt that was presented to the Minister for airlifting the U23 team from Atlanta to Manaus. I am aware that the Minister himself requested for the phone number of our FIFA Match Agent (Jairo Pachon, who has been working with the NFF since 2009) when everybody became desperate about how the team would go to Brazil. The NFF President gave him the phone number, and the Minister himself asked Pachon to go ahead and charter an aircraft, and Pachon reverted that the amount would be $174,000, as against the $300,000 that was bandied earlier. However, the money did not reflect in the airline company’s bank account within the deadline it gave to us, so the service was cancelled. We insist that Mr. Pachon acted in the best interest of Nigeria,” he said,

Yahaya-Kwande also took the opportunity to react to earlier allegations of the Federation bloating the football team’s list.

“Which persons did we increase the team with? There were two alternate players, the team media officer, the team coordinator, the team’s equipment manager and the team’s technical officer, who have always been part of the team’s crew, and who by global standard are required by the team. When it was made clear that they would no longer be taken care of, we told them to return to Nigeria.

As I speak with you, the only NFF top officials at the Olympics are the NFF Technical Director and the NFF President. I would like to be proved wrong on this.

The NFF Board has always displayed integrity in all its financial dealings and have always communicated to the Minister on every financial transaction and detail. On this too, we would like to be proved wrong,” he added.


  1. Ibex

    August 20, 2016 at 8:24 am

    Mr man you’re just a disappointment. period!

  2. ElessarisElendil

    August 20, 2016 at 9:39 am

    Is this dude having some sort of mid-life crisis?? Jokes aside I’m concerned.

  3. Ivie

    August 20, 2016 at 9:47 am

    Dalung,!! Dalung!!
    Please stop talking already

  4. yemite

    August 20, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    Kudos to you sir. Any Man that stand out to be plain among a corrupted group, that how different accusation will be coming. Buhari trust u that was what while the Mr President apoint you. Pls don’t mind team lagos form by corrupted group. Create a well Nigeria Team.

  5. Yoyo

    August 20, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    I dont need to hear their stupid lies!Our sportsmen/women are always uncatered for both home and abroad. Other countries give their people the best both at home and abroad besides coaches and trainers for eg when they travel they get superb accomodation,nutritionists and dieticians,sports medicine doctors,physical therapists to name a few! Na only naija story go enter for transportation,hotel stay,feeding,salary you name it. This story holds true whether its world cup,olympics,IAAF or even smaller sport events. Its no wonder that we go medal less and loose. Its not rocket science we are ill prepared so we always get bad outcomes.
    The rower we are all cekebrating is a product of her American ivy school training.Chierika Ukogu’s alma mater is Stanford University, USA where she studied pre-med and rowed for Stanford’s women’s crew team till her graduation in 2014. How many Chierikas do we have in our country that our high schools,universities and sports ministries fail every day.
    I really feel for our athletes. They are highly unprepared and cared for yet they struggle to do their best!On top of that when dem loose we go curse them, myself included I no go lie. Its no wonder that they change nationalities at the slightest opportunity. People say its not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country. Medals or not they did their best…sadly our country dissapoints every time. Dulang and his cohorts are a disgrace.

  6. Victor

    August 21, 2016 at 12:03 am

    Sincerely speaking the greatest disaster that’s befallen Nigeria is buhari; even the sport that manages to bind us together, give us succour at times like this they had no money to spend for it, but he has enough money to subsidize dollar for the pilgrims that just went for hajj, in fact when I read that more than 15 countries had at least a Nigerian National representing them my heart went out to this young men and women who out of cheer patriotism chose to do business for the nation even when they don’t deserve it, especially that young lady that left her medical school just to make us proud, reading that especially on the day she lost out I shed a little tear for her, because she should have just represented America, was speaking with wrestler friend who told me sometime in June that he’s going to be unavailable as they’re going for camping only to see him 2 days to the Olympics, asking him what happened, in fact it is a long story, it was from him I learnt that we were going with just 1 boxer, that there’s no money for Visa, and that many of the athletes went there with their money, he stold me emphatically that they were told to use their personal money; when I prodded further he reeled out too many rubbish, imagine sending a boxer for such a tournament and dropping his coach, simply because he has no backer or fend for himself, I know many won’t like what I will say now but please forgive, I wasn’t happy when Nigeria won the bronze medal I wanted them to just come back like that because that’s what the nation deserve, he talked about how humilating they were treated imagine staying in camp for over a month only to be told that your visa wasn’t processed, it is well

  7. Kaybee

    August 21, 2016 at 12:09 am

    Can somebody tell this man to stop using this red beret , what message he is passing across as a minister to the youth?

  8. Ajala & Foodie

    August 21, 2016 at 1:48 am

    Watching this Olympic Games has made me realize we have way more than “brain drain” going on in Nigeria, One cannot miss the substantial number of Nigerians representing other countries at this games. Sad, but many of our talents are gone, yet we make lame excuses or make up lies trying to cover up our profound failure as a country. Real sad!!!!

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