The Ministry of Youth and Sports has refunded to Mikel Obi the $4,600 he paid for the Nigeria Olympic football team in São Paulo on their way to Salvador, the Nigeria Football Federation have claimed in a press release made available to Completesportsnigeria.com.
The Chelsea star had bailed the team out following the ministry's inability to provided the needed funds for the team's essentials.
The Olympic Eagles have defied shoddy treatment by the sports ministry to reach the semi-finals of the men's football event of Rio 2016 after beating Denmark 2-0 on Saturday.
The team did not reach Manaus for their opening match until six hours to kick-off and their allowances have been delayed.
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Now, belatedly, the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports has again assured players and officials of the team that they will be given all that is due to them.
Addressing the players and officials after the 2-0 defeat of Denmark in Saturday’s quarter-final match in Salvador, the Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung, represented by 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. 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.”
Responding, Mikel said: "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. We have done that so far and we will continue to do that, but we need more motivation."