Rio 2016: Nigeria are stuck in Atlanta due to unpaid flight bills

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The Nigeria Olympic football team are scheduled to play their first game against Japan on Friday at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

However, Samson Siasia’s team are in Atlanta in the United States of America instead of Brazil. Not at their own will though.

The charter airline scheduled to fly the footballers to Rio de Janeiro have refused to leave Atlanta until they have been paid. The delay in payment of the flight has been blamed on a ‘logistical mix-up’.

According to a source to the Nigeria Football Federation, the sports ministry is responsible for booking the tickets for the Nigerian Olympics team.

Chelsea player Mikel Obi with the Dream Team VI

The source told BBC:

“The Nigerian government [sports ministry] is responsible for booking the tickets for the team to travel but we heard there is a logistical mix-up with payments.

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“The money paid by the ministry for the charter flight did not hit airline’s account on Tuesday so they refused to fly the team to Brazil.”

The squad members are also not sure when their flight will be leaving for the Games with one of the players telling BBC:

“We’ve been told to get ready to fly out in few hours but that’s been the story since last week.”

Pulse Sports have however learnt that the team is still in the United States after the Sports Ministry’s fund transfer system failed causing delay in payment delay.

It has been resolved,” a source told Pulse Sports.

Nigeria was the first African team to win the Olympic football title when they won gold in 1996.

Samson Siasia’s men will play Japan, Colombia and Sweden in Group B of this year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.



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