The Senate Committee Chairman on Sports, Senator Obinna Ogba has urged players and coaches of Dream Team VI to forget all the challenges they passed through preparatory to the Rio Olympics and ensure they defeat Honduras on Saturday.
Ogba gave the charge on Friday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja ahead of Dream Team’s third place (bronze medal) match against Honduras at ongoing Olympics.
“I have to join all Nigerians to wish them well; I know they faced a lot of difficulties before they got to Rio.
“But I think that by now, they have overcome those difficulties and should face the match against Honduras squarely.
“We wish them well and also pray for them; we don’t have any other country apart from this, so, we have to give them all the maximum support they require to excel,’’ Ogba said.
The senator assured the players and coaches that President Muhammadu Buhari would be willing to receive and reward them when they succeed.
“When they do well, government will feel proud to thank them for a job well done,’’ he added.
NAN reports that the team was faced with delay in payment of camp allowance of players and coaching crew.
Minister of Sports Solomon Dalung, NFF President Amaju Pinnick and his General Secretary, Mohammed Sanusi had all intervened at different points to calm the players and coaching crew down over the non-payment.
Pinnick had through a statement issued by Ademola Olajire, the NFF Assistant Director of Communications, noted that the Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy was responsible for the delay.
The Nigeria’s Dream Team which won the event in 1996 had threatened to boycott the quarterfinal game against Denmark before respite eventually came their way and the allowances were paid.
The team went ahead to defeat their Danish counterparts 2-0 in the encounter to set-up a semi-final tie against Germany, which it eventually lost 0-2.