Nigeria U-23: Dream Team VI finally leaves USA

Nigeria’s U-13 side have finally arrived Brazil just few hours before their first game of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The Dream Team VI will in the early morning of Friday, August 5 (Nigerian time) face Japan in their first group game of the football event of the Olympic Games.

Dream Team VI

The Dream team VI had rejected two planes provided by the Sports Ministry

Samson Siasia and his men were stuck in Atlanta, Georgia where they camped ahead of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

According to the schedule of the Sports Ministry, the Nigeria’s U-23 team were to travel via a chartered flight to Manaus on the night of Tuesday, August 2.

We however learnt that the team was delayed in the United States after the Sports Ministry’s fund transfer system failed.

The following day, the team refused boarding a flight that was made available due to lack of space.

The players were uncomfortable with the size of the plane,” team media officer of the team, Timi Ebikagboro told BBC Sport.

A Delta plane which has 32 which is used to transport NBA players was then provided with which the Dream Team players flew to Brazil.

The flight took off at exactly 7AM Eastern Time (12 Noon Nigeria time) just few hours before they play Japan in the early hours of Friday, August 5.

Dream Team VI

Dream Team VI flight from Atlanta to Manaus took off 12pm on Thursday, August 4

Dream Team VI flight to Manaus

Dream Team VI flight from Atlanta to Manaus took off 12pm on Thursday, August 4

The team was first scheduled to leave on Friday, July 29 before the take-off was postponed to Monday, August 1.

While the Ministry of Sports say the first delay was due to the failure of their fund transfer system, Nneka Ikem who is the Personal Assistant to Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung further explained that two charter planes were later chattered for the team which was refused.

Ikem further revealed that the Embraer EMB135ER executive airplane was refused by the team despite lots of leg space.

Embraer EMB135ER interior

Dream Team VI refused 30-seater Embraer EMB135ER because of lack of leg space

The Personal Assistant of the Sports Minister further revealed a second plan ordered by Vice president, Prof Yemi Osinbajo was also turned down by the players despite appeals from the Minister information, Lai Mohammed and Finance, Kemi Adeosun.

Nigerian businessman, sports philanthropist and enthusiast, Yemi Idowu was said to have also provided a $300,000 for the 30-seater Embraer EMB135ER executive version which was also rejected.

Embraer EMB135ER

PA to Minister of Sports says they provided a 30-seater plane for the team because the Dream Team VI officially had just 25 players

Nneka revealed that the 30-seater Embraer EMB135ER was provided by the Sports Ministry because 25 players and officials were officially accredited for the games but Dream Team VI delegate had 32.


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By Sydney Chesterfield on August 4, 2016 · Posted in Sports, Trends

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