John Mikel Obi, paid $4,000 of his personal money, to ensure that the Nigeria Olympic team did not miss their flight to Salvador because of unpaid bills incurred by unbudgeted officials
It was revealed that the Organizers of the Games (Olympic committee) insisted on a team of 25 people, 18 players and seven officials.
One of team officials spoke to AfricanFootball.com, saying, “We just arrived Salvador now from Sao Paolo. We nearly missed our flight because of unpaid bills in the hotel. The hotel held us to ransom”.
“The problem is that all the additional officials here in Brazil are the responsibility of the Nigeria Football Federation, who said they will pay for them, but they did not pay for them again”.
“The affected officials included the team’s media officer, the team coordinator, the kits manager in charge of players and officials’ kits and the accompanying assistant director technical”.
“A call was put across to the honourable minister of youths and sports, he said we should put the bill in the (credit) card but the card didn’t work. They tried and tried but the minister said that only 18 players and seven officials should be captured as regards payment according to the rules of the Olympic Games”.
“So, the hotel bills of these other officials, about five of them cost the sum of over $4,000. They held us hostage for more than one hour and we nearly missed our flight. It was Mikel (Obi) who rescued us by paying the money”.
“I can tell you honestly speaking that this incident is not the fault of the minister because the minister listed the people to be accommodated which were 18 players and seven officials”.