Sports ministry denies allegation of unpaid hotel bills in Rio

By Kayode Tijani, Abuja

Ministry of Youth and Sports has denied allegation that Team Nigeria’s Captain John Mikel Obi paid hotel bills accruing from the 8 unaccredited players and officials in Rio with the National U-23 team.A statement issued by the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Solomon Dalung, the chief coach of the team Samson Siasia in company of another official had come knocking on his door at about 4am Sao Paolo time.

According to the minister, “Siasia was in my room early this morning and said the hotel security had refused to allow the team leave the hotel due to unpaid hotel bills. I also lodged in the same hotel with the Permanent Secretary and other members of the National Assembly who came to watch the match against Columbia.

“I told him to add the bill to the permanent Secretary’s bill so that he can clear it alongside other bills. The amount incurred by the excess officials and players is $4,600. When we checked out of the hotel, the money was added and the Permanent Secretary paid all outstanding bills. I am surprised to hear and read that Mikel Obi saved an embarrassing situation by paying the bills.”

On the status of the additional members as reported, Dalung added that they have been following the team since they left Atlanta including 4 players and 4 officials.

“In Manaus, we were forced to pay camp allowances to the extra 4 players making 29. As we speak now, the Nigeria Football Federation is the only federation that does not have a single board member on ground.” He concluded.

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