Rio 2016 Olympics Local Organizing Committee has tendered an apology to Nigeria for the anthem blunder during the Super Eagles first game.
The Super Eagles when they faced Japan on Thursday and were shocked to have the wrong national anthem played for them during the opening moments.
Nigeria’s players looked utterly confused when the strange tune came up over the Amazon Arena’s public address system in Manaus.
A few of the players tried to figure out what exactly was going on.
According to the Daily Telegraph:
“The Super Eagles had to look serious and emotional to a tune they had never heard before.”
The Nigerian soccer contingent arrived late for the game after failing to find a flight from their training base in Atlanta, USA.
Only for them to be welcomed by a wrong national song.
Anthem Blunder: Olympic Committee Apologises To Nigeria
However, the Super Eagles against all odds went on to win the game 5-4 despite jetlag and a wrong anthem.
The Rio 2016 Organizing Committee have released a statement apologizing for the unintended error.
The Organizing committee in a statement released to Goal said:
“We understand hearing your national anthem during an Olympic Games is something nearly every athlete strives for.
“Therefore, we regret a wrong anthem was mistakenly played for Nigeria ahead of their match against Japan in the Amazon Arena.
“We sincerely apologize to the players and the Nigerian National Olympic Committee.”
International Media Manager Phillip Wilkinson disclosed that the anthem played was that of Nigeria’s neighbor, Niger Republic.
The Nigerian Olympic Committee has yet to release any official statement in this regard.
This is not the first time Nigeria has suffered an anthem mix-up in a major international competition.
In 2004, Nigerian officials accused hosts Tunisia of destabilizing their players during a semi-final game at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Organizers had aired the old anthem “Nigeria we hail thee” instead of “Arise O Compatriots”.
The hosts later played the correct anthem at half-time as they went on to win via penalty kicks.
Watch a video of the anthem blunder below: