The $4,600 reportedly paid by captain of Team Nigeria at the ongoing Rio Olympics, John Mikel Obi, in Sao Paulo on their way to Salvador has been refunded.
Business Post learnt that the refund was made by the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports, through the Minister, Solomon Dalung.
Mr Dalung, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr Chinyeaka Ohaa, assured the players and officials of the team that they will be given all that is due to them.
The Minister said he appreciates the spirit of the team despite the challenges they have faced even before the Games kicked off.
“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,” the Minister said.
He made this known while addressing the players and officials after the 2-0 defeat of Denmark in Saturday’s football quarter final match in Salvador.
Mikel, in his response, thanked the Minister for the support and promised the team’s resolve to continue to make the country proud.
“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,” the Chelsea FC superstar said.