Rio Olympics: Dream Team stranded in US

Nigeria Olympic soccer team has for the second time failed to fly out of its training base in Atlanta, United States of America, AfricanFootball.com can exclusively reveal.

Officials disclosed that the Dream Team may now travel to Brazil today for the Rio 2016 Olympics.

“Top officials are running around to ensure the team finally leave on Tuesday,” a source told AfricanFootball.com.

“They have been at the sports ministry trying to make sure everything about their ticketing and departure is sorted out today at the latest.”

Dream team VI were originally scheduled to fly out of the USA for Rio last Friday, but could not as their tickets were not ready.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), after the earlier arrangement for the team to depart for Brazil in batches due to difficulties in securing seats for the team failed to materialise, later announced that it was considering hiring a private jet to take the team directly to Manaus, venue of the team’s first match against Japan.

It will be recalled that coach Samson Siasia, has named Chelsea star, John Mikel Obi, to lead the Dream Team to the campaign.

Mikel, who played at the 2003 FIFA U-17 World Cup, 2005 FIFA U-20 World Cup and 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cup finals, is playing at the Olympics for the first time as he was named among the two overage players for the Dream Team.

“It’s just natural for me to pick Mikel as our captain. Aside the fact that he is the captain of the Super Eagles, he is also Team Nigeria captain, so after meeting with both of them and explaining my position, I am pleased to say Azubuike (Okechukwu), who has been our captain understood and was happy to hand over the captain’s band to Mikel.

“It is a thing of joy for my team to produce the first footballer to captain Team Nigeria to the Olympics. This, to me, is more than gratifying,” Siasia had announced Mikel’s appointment before his team-mates.

Nigeria’s Dream Team will begin its campaign on Friday by 2am Nigeria time against Japan, with Sweden and Colombia as other group opponents.