Nigeria Olympic team coach Siasia
Thursday Aug 04, 2016. 16:45
Nigeria’s team to the football event of the Rio Olympics have finally departed their training base in Atlanta, Georgia, in the United States of America for Brazil after they failed on four other occasions to do so.
READ: Mikel won't carry Nigeria's flag in Rio opening ceremony
“The team have finally left for Manaus on a chartered flight,” disclosed an official of the Nigeria sports ministry.
Securing tickets for the 35-man squad was a major challenge for officials beginning from their first attempt to fly out on last Friday and when they got a chartered plane for the team on Wednesday it was “too small” to take in the entire squad.
The team, nicknamed Dream Team VI back home, were at the airport Wednesday and looked to have put behind them a long-drawn saga concerning their departure for the Olympics from their training base, only for them to eventually be told to head back to their hotel.
Coach Samson Siasia, who guided the country to the gold medal final at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, has maintained the delayed departure will not affect his team.
“The boys are determined (despite these setbacks). We went to Senegal to conquer Africa under very difficult circumstances,” he assured.
Gold medalists 20 years ago in Atlanta, Nigeria open their campaign early Friday morning by 2am Nigerian time against Japan.
Sweden and Colombia are the other teams in their qualifying group.