The Nigeria Football Federation have congratulated the U23 National Team for winning bronze at this year’s Men’s Olympic Football Tournament in Brazil, after edging Honduras 3-2 in Belo Horizonte on Saturday
Victory meant Nigeria have now won gold, silver and bronze from the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament over the past 20 years. They scooped gold in 1996 and picked silver eight years ago, also under Samson Siasia.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Football Federation have responded to former goalkeeper Peterside Idah for a post on his Twitter handle before the match, suggesting the federation wanted to ‘hijack’ the $390,000 donation to the team by Japanese plastic surgeon, Dr. Katsuya Takasu.
Idah had tweeted just hours before the bronze medal match: "More trouble in the dream team camp….the money from the Japanese man to the dream team has been hijacked by the NFA .they want to use
"THE money to pay the coaches as salaries/ Bitrus Bewarang was sent to get the money from the Japanese ,but the players say it's there money
"THE NFF and the players are in a word match saying if they play they will never get the money. BREAKING NEWS."
But the NFF fired a strongly worded response after the match.
“His message was a lie, an atrocious false alarm before an important match. I had exchanged correspondence with the Honourable Minister on the issue of the donation and we agreed that there was need for caution. The Minister said to me that he read the donation in the papers and had expressed serious concern. I also received a mail from the NFF Integrity Officer who expressed very serious concern with this kind of donation," NFF President Amaju Pinnick said in a press release by the body.
“I got in touch with the Ambassador of Nigeria to Brazil and the Honourable Minister to say that whatever had to be done should be done after the Bronze Medal Match, to avoid any distractions. The NFF may be having financial challenges, but I assure you nobody in the Federation is interested in that money.
“If we get the Government’s go-ahead to collect the money, no official of the NFF will be involved even in the collection. The money will be received directly by the team.”
Pinnick added that the status of Nigeria as a sovereign nation, and the integrity of Nigeria football, is bigger than such financial gains. “If we had rushed to collect that kind of money and hand over to the players, the same people who are condemning the NFF now would have said worse things.
“There are matters in the football world today that FIFA and the various confederations frown at. We are very much aware of that.”