The Nigeria Football Federation have claimed that minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, and Nigeria Football Federation President Amaju Pinnick have moved quickly to the tension in the Nigeria U-23 team camp, ahead of Saturday’s Men’s Olympic Football Tournament quarter-final clash with Denmark.
There have been reports that the players and officials of the Olympic Eagles were considering boycotting the Rio 2016 quarter-final clash with Denmark in Salvador on Saturday over unpaid allowances and bonuses despite promises made by Dalung.
Pinnick told thenff.com on Friday that he had spoken with head coach Samson Siasia, who is being owed a backlog of salaries, thought to be as many as five months..
“I just finished a long telephone discussion with Siasia and I explained to him the situation the NFF is in and why he has not received his salary. As I explained last week, we received some money from CAF and I directed that the money be used to offset the salaries of the U-23 team coaches and also for the Super Falcons’ coaches," Pinnick said.
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“The money has come into the NFF account but it has to first go into our TSA (Treasury Single Account) before we can access it and then use it. The vouchers for the payment have already been done.
“Siasia confirmed that before I spoke to him, the NFF General Secretary had also called him to explain the situation to him. We are not unmindful of what our coaches are going through in this challenging period and we praise them for their patriotism and hard work despite all these.”
Pinnick also commended the Sports Minister for his concern for the team’s welfare. “I want to specially appreciate the minister, Solomon Dalung, who had already dispatched accountants to the U-23 team hotel to pay the allowances of players and officials before I called the team.
“The minister instructed the accountants to also pay the four alternate players, who are not accredited for the Games. We commend him for his efforts.”
The 1996 gold medallists, who are also the reigning champions of Africa, are scheduled to have a feel of the Arena Fonte Nova on Friday evening, ahead of the clash with the Danes, who lost 4-0 to Brazil in their final group match on Wednesday.