Rio 2016: Siasia Reveals Messy Drama with Sports Minister Dalung
After the bronze medal heroics of the Nigeria U23 football team at the just concluded Rio 2016 Olympic Games, coach Samson Siasia has said that he was yet to come to terms with the tantrums of Sports Minister Solomon Dalung, claiming “The whole thing surprised me.”
Apparently, Siasia drew the ire of the Minister when he complained about the hardship his team faced while preparing for the Games.
Incensed, Dalung denied knowledge of the team’s whereabouts before ridiculing the coaches, claiming that they could be engaged in human trafficking.
“As we speak, I don’t know what I have done to offend the Minister. The whole thing is surprising”, Sia One, as he is fondly called, said.
“It’s funny. When he came, he shook hands with us and after shaking the players, he asked where is the coach? Everybody started laughing. We shook hands again and hugged”, Siasia said.
Siasia, who delivered Nigeria’s sole medal at the Games, noted that his team could have done better if the environment was different.
“The environment before the Games was not good but we resolved to weather the storm. The players gave their best. Without necessarily singling out players, Mikel was outstanding. He not only played well, he also motivated the squad with his leadership qualities. Also, Injury did not allow us to use some other good players. Anyway, we’re grateful to win something for Nigerians who showed massive support to us”.
Siasia and the team have since returned to Nigeria where they’ve been promised a warm reception by the authorities.
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