Captain of Team Nigeria to the Rio Olympics, John Mikel Obi, has denied media reports doing the rounds that he gave 30,000 dollars to his team–mates in the U-23 team camping in Atlanta, USA ahead of the Games which starts on August 5 in Brazil.
“I was first told of this unfortunate story by a friend who called me from Nigeria. I thought he was joking until he sent me the link.
“I don’t know the source of this story which to me is all out to divide us as a team. I would have thought that stories that should be coming out in the media are stories that will unite the team instead of dividing us. Our target in Rio is to excel, but if they continue like this, then I wonder how we can be united,” the Super Eagles captain who was furious declared while speaking from the team’s camp at the Hyatt Place.
The Chelsea star noted that the alleged donation to his team-mates could only lead to distraction for the Dream Team as it was a mere fabrication.
“Tell me the players who are in this team that are so hungry that will be looking up to me for survival? Is it (William) Ekong, (Oghenekaro) Etebo, (Shehu) Abdulahi, (Daniel) Akpeyi, (Kingsley) Madu, (Okechukwu) Azubuike or (Stanley) Amuzie, who are my team-mates in the Super Eagles, that I will be donating to, or other players who are plying their trade abroad and are doing well for themselves?
“To me, this is just mere distraction that won’t help this team going into a major tournament like the Olympics,” Mikel, who is registered as one of the overage players for the Dream Team said.
The 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) winner appealed to the sporting press and Nigerians generally to rally round the Dream Team to enable it to excel at Rio 2016.