Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Super Eagles stranded in Atlanta over flight problem, to arrive Olympics late

Super Eagles of Nigeria are expected to arrive in Brazil late, less than 36 hours before their opening match of the men's Olympic football tournament as a result of flight problems. The delay has been blamed on a "logistical mix-up" with operators of a charter aircraft.

Samson Siasia's squad are due to play Japan at 0100GMT on Friday in Manaus, but  the squad are still in Atlanta with the charter airline refusing to leave until full payment has been made.

"The sports ministry is responsible for booking the tickets for the team to travel but we heard there is a logistical mix-up with payments," a source close to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) told BBC Sport.

"The money paid by the ministry for the charter flight did not hit airline's account on Tuesday so they refused to fly the team to Brazil."

The problems seem to have happened due to the money having to go through different bank accounts and currency conversions.

"It is a cumbersome exercise but they should have started the process much earlier, which NFF was pointing out. This issue has nothing to do with the NFF," the source explained.

He added that everyone in the NFF was "disturbed" by the situation because Nigeria's first game is on Thursday when they take on Japan in Manaus.

The BBC has spoken to several players in the party, who say they do not yet know when they will be travelling.

One of the players explained: "We've been told to get ready to fly out in few hours but that's been the story since last week."

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