Thursday Aug 18, 2016. 19:28
Nigeria failed to repeat the historic feat of winning Olympic football Gold 20 years after because the team lost their focus, according to former Nigeria star Garba Lawal.
READ: Nigeria fail to reach Rio Olympics Gold medal match
Coach Samson Siasia’s team will now have to battle Honduras for bronze on Saturday in Belo Horizonte after they were beaten 2-0 by Germany in Wednesday’s semi-final.
Garba Lawal was part of the team who made history by winning Olympic Gold in Atlanta in 1996 and he told AfricanFootball.com the country’s team ought to have focused on repeating this feat rather than be distracted from their goal.
“Not many people knew what we went through as a team when we eventually won Gold in Atlanta. We were not paid for several weeks and were at the mercy of the hotel we stayed at in Atlanta over unpaid bills. But we did not allow all that to take us away from our target, which was to be Olympic champions,” Lawal told AfricanFootball.com
“We all knew that once we won, all that we did not get, we will be given. And that was exactly what happened.
“It is rather unfortunate that the present team did not work like that and before you know it all their problems were in the media.”
Garba Lawal further told AfricanFootball.com the team will have to fight against less fancied Honduras if they were to leave Brazil with a bronze medal on Saturday evening.
“Honduras will fight notwithstanding the heavy defeat they suffered at the hands of Brazil and if we think we only have to show up at the game to win bronze, we will be seriously mistaken,” warned the ex-international, who is now on the NFF technical committee.