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Scandal: Minister never visited us in Atlanta, say U-23 team

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•As Dalung rushes to pay ‘em allowances

The Youth and Sports Development Minister, Barrister Solomon Dalung will not stop stewing in controversies  as members of the Olympic football team said they have accepted his apology for their traumatizing experience in Atlanta, USA.


Some members of the team revealed to Sports Vanguard that contrary to reports in Nigeria that the minister visited the team in Atlanta where he reportedly asked team  captain, John Mikel Obi to take charge of the team, he never visited them.

“Where did he visit us? We never saw him while we were in Atlanta. I think they just issued a press release that he came to see us, we never saw,” one of them said.

The source however, said that “we have accepted his apology and happy that they paid us our camp allowance for 11 days. We were in camp for more than a month in Nigeria and Atlanta so they should pay us all the allowances as well as the bonus for the two matches we have played.”

Another demand by the team was the payment of the five months salary owed the coaching crew but it was not clear if that is part of the money the sports ministry or the NOC would settle as it is the responsibility of the NFF.

Meanwhile, the minister’s office said yesterday that  the players were each paid $1,650 being allowances for 11 days as they are entitled to $150 daily camp allowance.

According to a press statement from the minister’s office, the minister said the upfront payment was to ensure that the players are focused and well motivated as he promised that all entitlements will be be given to all athletes even before the Games end.

“All your camp allowances have been budgeted for. There will be no story-telling during these Games. You will get all your allowances and entitlements as we don’t want any distractions. We want you to remain focused . You have established that you’re great men and determined to conquer, despite all odds. There can’t be any other sacrifice more than this”, the press statement quoted Dalung as saying.

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