NIGERIA’s football team to the 2016 Rio Olympics will arrive late at the Games due to a delay in payments for their chartered flight.
The team are stuck in Atlanta, USA, where they had gone for training ahead of the competition, after the chartered airline refused to leave until full payments were made.
The delay means the team will arrive in Brazil less than 36 hours before the opening match against Japan on Friday.
A source at the Nigeria Football Federation, in a BCC report, blames the delay on a ‘logistical mix-up’ with operators of a charter aircraft.
The source said, “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.”
“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.”
“It is a cumbersome exercise but they should have started the process much earlier, which NFF was pointing out. This issue has nothing to do with the NFF.”
Nigeria is in Group B alongside Sweden, Colombia and Japan. A win against Japan on Friday is expected to put the Samson Siasia-led team in a good position for progressing into the next stage.