Nigeria’s Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Solomon Dalung, has congratulated the national U-23 team for qualifying for next year’s Olympic Games.
Dalung has also ordered the immediate payment of all outstanding match bonuses and allowances owed the players and officials.
The Minister expressed displeasure that the players were being owed a backlog of allowances and bonuses since their last competition.
“This is an emergency problem we inherited and I have directed the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry and the Director General of the National Sports Commission to source for intervention funds to settle the players before the final game on Saturday.
“The players have done extremely well under the situation, moreover a workman deserves his pay.
“We don’t want negative stories on non-payment of players’ allowances which are capable of tarnishing the image of the country, so I have pleaded with the coaches and players to remain focused on their final game as all possible efforts are being put in by the Ministry to ensure that all outstanding bonuses and camp allowances are offset before Saturday,” the minister said.
Mr Dalung watched the Dream team defeat host, Senegal, in the semi-final match by a single goal scored through a penalty.
He congratulated the team after the match and urged them to work hard to win the final game against Algeria.
He has also directed that a delegation comprising top officials of the Ministry of Youth and Sports visit the U-23 team in Senegal before the final.