NOC Rejects Winning Bonus for Dream Team

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Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
The Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) has spun a proposal by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) for match bonuses to be paid to the Under-23 football team at Rio 2016.

NFF had argued for special status for the Dream Team VI during one of the several technical meetings between officials of NOC and the sports federations that will compete at the Olympics.

NFF had contended that granting the team match bonus would boost its medal winning chance.

Nigeria will compete in nine medal sport events at the Olympics Games that starts in Brazil on August 5.
THISDAY scoped last night that NOC was indisposed to NFF’s request for full match bonuses to the players and Coach Samson Siasia led technical crew at NOC’s expense.

The committee’s reasoning is that the Dream Team VI should not be treated specially as it could potentially lower the morale of other athletes and affect Nigeria’s medal winning prospect.

In line with the usual practice, it is the NOC, rather than the associations, that will handle the welfare of the Nigerian contingent starting from when they arrive at the Games Village in Rio.

According to reliable sources, NOC insisted it would only pay the approved daily camp allowances for athletes and officials while associations can give them additional money if they can afford such.

NFF is used to paying the Under-23 players majority of who are based in Europe $3,000 match bonus and is expecting NOC to adopt the same template.

Nigeria won gold and silver medals in Olympic football event at Atlanta’96 and Beijing 2008 respectively. The Dream Team VI will face Sweden, Colombia and Japan in Group B.