Unpaid Flight Bill Delays Nigeria’s Olympic Footballers In Atlanta


Nigeria’s Super Eagles are expected to arrive late at the Olympic due to unpaid flight bill. Their flight is expected to touch down in Brazil less than 36 hours before their opening match of the men’s football tournament.

“The Nigerian government (Sports Ministry) is responsible for booking the tickets for the team to travel but we heard there is a logistical mix-up with payments,” a source close to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) told BBC Sport.

“The money paid by the ministry for the charter flight did not hit airline’s account on Tuesday so they refused to fly the team to Brazil.”

The problems seem to have happened due to the money having to go through different bank accounts and currency conversions.

“It is a cumbersome exercise but they should have started the process much earlier, which NFF was pointing out. This issue has nothing to do with the NFF,” the source told BBC.

He added that everyone in the NFF was “disturbed” by the situation because Nigeria’s first game is on Thursday when they take on Japan in Manaus.

The BBC has spoken to several players in the party, who say they do not yet know when they will be travelling.

One of the players explained: “We’ve been told to get ready to fly out in few hours but that’s been the story since last week.”

The Super Eagles are to face Japan on Friday (at 01.00 GMT) in Manaus but a “logistical mix-up” is posing a threat to their plans.