After the Dream Team VI’s game against Colombia at the #RioOlympics2016, the team it was reported had threatened to boycott the finals over unpaid allowances and poor treatment.
In an interview, the team’s coach Samson Siasia said that he will support the players if they eventually decide to boycott the quarterfinal game against Denmark Saturday night.
“We have only been paid allowances for 11 days. There is no match bonus. What about all the months we have been training in Nigeria and Atlanta? That’s not fair.
We have been disrespected from all angles – by the the sports ministry, the Nigeria Football Federation. Is that how you will treat your own children? We are not street kids. I have not received my salary for the past five months.
Everything is upside down and the boys don’t want to play anymore. Whatever they want to do, I’m with them. They are right for fighting for their rights.
I cannot do more than what I have done to get this team up to this level. I have done my best and now I am tired,” Siasia said.
Following the development, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, has appealed to the team not to boycott the game.
He said this in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Turaki Hassan, in Abuja on Friday.
According to him, the House will ensure that they are paid all their entitlements.
The speaker urged the team to take patriotism as a fulcrum of their campaign, adding that he would do everything within his powers to intervene in the matter.
He said the team with the likes of Mikel Obi, Yakubu Umar, Oghenekaro Etebor and William Troost-Ekong had a very bright chance of repeating the feat of the Atlanta ’96.
“We will do all we can to ensure that all entitlements due to the team are paid as we are already talking to relevant government agencies,” he said.
He further said that football being the major unifying factor in the country should be maximised by all for Nigeria’s continued unity.
“We will stop at nothing to ensure that we get the team to excel in Brazil and for Nigeria to recreate the watershed of Atlanta 96,” Dogara added.