Mikel’s $30,000 annoys NFF as football body denies donation

Officials of the Nigeria Football Federation have expressed disappointed over stories making the round that  Team Nigeria captain, John Obi Mikel, on Thursday donated the sum of $30,000 to the U-23 Eagles after the team threatened to embark on strike ahead of their trip to Rio Olympics.

Reports say that the Chelsea midfielder gave the team the money to ameliorate the team’s financial situation haven been neglected by the NFF since their training camp in Atlanta USA few weeks back.
“Mikel felt bad when he got here in Atlanta and after seeing the situation decided to boost the morale of the team just like Samuel Eto’o and Didier Drogba usually do with Cameroon and Ivory Coast,” a player said.
According to another player who confided in Ripples Nigeria, “It’s no more news that Coach Samson Siasia is owed five months salaries and we have been abandoned by the NFF and the Sports Ministry since we got to USA. Mikel came to the team’s rescue and the NFF are unhappy with this benevolent act. It’s rather unfortunate.”

But the NFF feeling slighted with the captain’s action, immediately issued a statement denying Mikel’s goodwill.

According to NFF’s statement, the Super Eagles captain was furious saying: “I was first told of this unfortunate story by a friend who called me from Nigeria. I thought he was joking until he sent me the link.

“I don’t know the source of this story which to me is all out to divide us as a team. I would have thought that stories that should be coming out in the media are stories that will unite the team instead of dividing us. Our target in Rio is to excel, but if they continue like this, then I wonder how we can be united.”

The NFF quoted Mikel to have said: “Tell me the players who are in this team that are so hungry that will be looking up to me for survival? Is it (William) Ekong, (Oghenekaro) Etebo, (Shehu) Abdulahi, (Daniel) Akpeyi, (Kingsley) Madu, (Okechukwu) Azubuike or (Stanley) Amuzie, who are my team –mates in the Super Eagles, that I will be donating to, or other players who are plying their trade abroad and are doing well for themselves? To me, this is just mere distraction that won’t help this team going into a major tournament like the Olympics.”

The Chelsea FC ace then appealed to the sporting press and Nigerians generally to rally round the team and wish the players and officials well as they get ready for the men’s football tournament of the Rio Olympics.

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