The U-23 team known as Dream team VI have threatened to boycott tomorrow’s (Saturday) quarter-final match against Denmark unless they are paid the balance of their allowances in Brazil. They have reportedly refused to train.
It will be recalled that minister of Youth and Sports Barrister Solomon Dalung had said that the team have been paid their camp allowance for the first 11 days. The players are entitled to $150 daily camp allowance. Each player received $1, 650 being allowances for 11 days according to the minister.
The team who topped Group B despite going down 2-0 to Colombia Wednesday are following in the steps of the senior national team, the Super Eagles who also protested in Brazil before their second round match against France at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The Eagles lost 2-0 and crashed out.
It would be recalled also that a similar protest by the U-20 team, the Flying Eagles cost them a match against Sudan who beat them 4-3 in Lagos after a 1-2 home loss in Omdurman.
According to sources from the team’s camp the players the protest is also tied to the unpaid five month salaries and allowances of the coaches which the NFF president, Amaju Pinnick has directed the secretariat to settle with the $60,000 grant received from CAF recently.
Africanfootball.com also quoted a source close to the team as saying that “The players said that their level of patriotism has already dwindled because of the way they have been treated by the government officials prior to the Olympic Games.
“As we speak now, the only money that the players have received was the $150 dollars per day for 11 days, while there are more than that 11 days still to be paid and no extra money was received for the matches played so far”, the source also disclosed.
The coach Samson Siasia-led team have already been overtaken by drama and controversies in the last few weeks, from the players stopping their coach from quitting his post to the team being stranded for several days at their training base in Atlanta, Georgia.