Chelsea midfielder Mikel John Obi who captained Nigeria Olympic team to a bronze medal at the recently concluded Rio 2016 Olympics has revealed the total amount of money, he spent on the team during camping in Atlanta.
With lack of support from the federation for their training camp in Atlanta – where they won a gold medal in 1996 – Mikel took matters into his own hands to help the team realise their Olympic dream, with help from coach Samson Siasia.
“I think if we talk about the money that I put into the team I think it was more than [£30,000],” Mikel told Goal.
“But we just had to do it.
“I said to myself, ‘I won’t let this happen. If I can help, I’ll try to help’. Sometimes there was no food, sometimes there was no pitch to train on, there was no bus to go to the training ground. So all of this was what me and the coach had to figure out, and get money together.
“I came to the camp. I sat down with the boys in Atlanta and I could see the frustration, the pain and the anger. Their aim was to play in the Olympics, their goal was to play in the Olympics.
And for me being there and seeing what they are going through, they are young boys, they want to start their career and someone in the ministry is trying to crush that dream.”
“There was just no flight provided by the Nigerian ministry,” he added. “We planned to leave three or four days before the tournament, but we ended up leaving the day of our first game. It was a difficult one. I don’t think I have ever seen something like that before, it was crazy.”