Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Solomon Dalung on Monday night, sent two players and three officials of the national U-23 tea back to Nigeria from the ongoing Rio Olympic Games in Brazil.
Stanley Dimgba and Yusuf Mohammed are the two alternate players, while the team’s media officer, Timi Ebikagboro, curator and the team coordinator are part of the ‘unofficially accredited’ officers sent packing from the Games.
“We said they should send them back home if they could not take care of them (players and officials),” Nigeria Football Federation spokesman said.
Meanwhile, a top official of the team also confirmed to TheCable that the ministry could not afford to continue to pay the five extra persons on the team.
”Yes, it is true that the curator, media officer as well as the two alternative players have been asked to go back to Nigeria,” said the source.
“The ministry can only take care of 18 players and seven officials. The ministry cannot afford to be paying for extra rooms, feeding, allowances out of the 25 people that are supposed to make up the team to the Olympics.
“The aforementioned people have already left the team’s hotel and are no longer with us.”
Recall that sports minister, Solomon Dalung had earlier spoken about the burden of the huge financial challenges facing the team at the Olympic Games, following reports that the Dream Team were prevented from leaving their hotel in Sao Paulo over unpaid bills.
Dalung said 84 players and four officials – unofficially accredited persons had been with the team since they left Atlanta for Brazil.
“The organisers 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 four players making 29,” Dalung added.