The Ministry of Youth and Sports has refunded the sum of $4,600 to captain of the Under-23 team Mikel Obi he paid for the team in Sao Paulo on their way to Salvador for the match against Denmark on Saturday.
It was gathered that some officials who were not captured in the 25-man football Olympic list had incurred some debt which the hotel demanded before they could let them go and Mikel Obi saved the day by upsetting the bill.
The Minister of Sports, Barrister Solomon Dalung in a statement through the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr. Chinyeaka Ohaa said:
“I am happy to be a Nigerian, because in spite of all the challenges, you have taken the world by storm; you have by your performance given happiness to more than 160 million Nigerians.
“Football is the biggest unifying factor in Nigeria today. From Mr. President to the average Nigerian you have made everyone proud today.
“I am humbled by your efforts, your commitment, your patriotism. I want to assure you that your sacrifices will not be in vain.”
The ministry also assured players and officials of the team that they will be given all that is due to them.
“Aside whatever the NFF have for you, we will as much as possible make you happy, if only you will be patient with us. Today, with your performance, I am convinced that you will get that gold.”
Captain Mikel Obi responded by saying: “We want to thank you for your fatherly support. In truth, there have been a lot of challenges, but every time we go onto the field, we forget about everything and make sure our fatherland comes first.”
He however added that the team needs fro motivation from the ministry. “We have done that so far and we will continue to do that, but we need more motivation.”
The Dream Team VI have on Saturday trashed Denmark in their quarterfinal match to qualify for semi-finals where they meet Germany.