The sports minister, Solomon Dalung, on Friday said the ministry has settled the hotel bills incurred by eight unaccredited players and officials with the country’s Olympic football team in Brazil.
Dalung debunked media reports that the billed was settled by Team Nigeria’s Captain John Mikel Obi.
He urged the players to shelve all actions capable of distracting them from their upcoming game on Saturday against Denmark and channel all grievances through the appropriate route.
“Siasia was in my room early this morning and said the hotel security had refused to allow the team leave the hotel due to unpaid hotel bills, said Dalung, in a statement issued by his media aide, Nneka Anibeze.
“I also lodged in the same hotel with the Permanent Secretary and other members of the National Assembly who came to watch the match against Columbia.
“I told him to add the bill to the permanent Secretary’s bill so that he can clear it alongside other bills. The amount incurred by the excess officials and players is $4,600. When we checked out of the hotel, the money was added and the Permanent Secretary paid all outstanding bills. I am surprised to hear and read that Mikel Obi saved an embarrassing situation by paying the bills,” Dalung stated.
The minister noted that the eight unaccredited persons – four players and four officials – have been following the team since they left Atlanta.
The organizers of the games, the International Olympic Committee are only responsible for 25 accredited players and officials including feeding, flights and accommodation. We have been carrying the rest along.
“In Manaus, we were forced to pay camp allowances to the extra 4 players making 29. As we speak now, the Nigeria Football Federation is the only federation that does not have a single board member on ground. Not even the Secretary-General is here.
“So, it is really unfortunate that this is happening. We have paid all players and other athletes their first 11 days in camp and the payment of the rest of the days will commence today (Friday).”