THE Dream Team has returned to training after they skipped training and threatened to boycott today’s quarter-final of the Rio Olympics against Denmark over payments.
The match is billed to kick off at 8pm Nigeria time in Salvador.
The Minister of Youth and Sports, Barrister Solomon Dalung and NFF president, Amaju Pinnick moved quickly to douse discontentment in the team camp, an official statement from the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), disclosed.
Pinnick said he has spoken with coach Samson Siasia and that the team would certainly be in high spirit for the clash with the Danes at the Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador tonight.
“I just finished a long telephone discussion with Siasia and I explained to him the situation the NFF is in and why he has not received his salary,” the NFF boss said.
“As I explained last week, we received some money from CAF and I directed that the money be used to offset the salaries of the U-23 team coaches and also for the Super Falcons’ coaches.
“The money has come into the NFF account, but it has to first go into our TSA (Treasury Single Account) before we can access it and then use it. The vouchers for the payment have already been done.
“Siasia confirmed that before I spoke to him, the NFF general secretary had also called him to explain the situation to him.
“We are not unmindful of what our coaches are going through in this challenging period and we praise them for their patriotism and hard work despite all these.”
Pinnick also commended the Sports Minister for his concern for the team’s welfare.
“I want to specially appreciate the Minister, Barrister Solomon Dalung, who had already dispatched accountants to the U-23 team hotel to pay the allowances of players and officials before I called the team,” he said.
“The minister instructed the accountants to also pay the four alternate players, who are not accredited for the Games. We commend him for his efforts.”