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Nigeria U-23 Dream Team VI finally leaves United States, players refused small planes

Samson Siasia and his men were stuck in Atlanta, Georgia where they camped ahead of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

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Dream Team VI play Nigeria's U-23 team has finally left Atlanta to Brazil (Twitter/Colin Udoh)

Nigeria’s U-13 side have finally arrived Brazil just few hours before their first game of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The Dream Team VI will in the early morning of Friday, August 5 (Nigerian time) face Japan in their first group game of the football event of the Olympic Games.

Dream Team VI play The Dream team VI had rejected two planes provided by the Sports Ministry (Twitter/Colin Udoh)

 

Samson Siasia and his men were stuck in the Atlanta, Georgia where they camped ahead of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

According to the schedule of the Sports Ministry, the Nigeria’s U-23 team were to travel via a chartered flight to Manaus on the night of Tuesday, August 2.

Pulse Sports however learnt that the team was delayed in the United States after the Sports Ministry’s fund transfer system failed.

The following day, the team refused boarding a flight that was made available due to lack of space.

"The players were uncomfortable with the size of the plane," media officer of the team, Timi Ebikagboro told BBC Sport.

 

A 32-seater Delta plane which is used by NBA players was then provided with which the Dream Team players flew to Brazil.

The flight took off at exactly 7AM Eastern Time (12 Noon Nigeria time) just few hours before they play Japan in the early hours of Friday, August 5.

Dream Team VI play Dream Team VI flight from Atlanta to Manaus took off 12pm on Thursday, August 4 (Nigerian time) (Twitter/Timi Ebikagboro )

Dream Team VI flight to Manaus play Dream Team VI flight from Atlanta to Manaus took off 12pm on Thursday, August 4 (Nigerian time) (Twitter/Timi Ebikagboro )

ALSO READ: Nike jersey for Dream Team VI

The team was first scheduled to leave on Friday, July 29 before the take-off was postponed to Monday, August 1.

While the Ministry of Sports say the first delay was due to the failure of their fund transfer system, Nneka Ikem who is the Personal Assistant to Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung further explained that two charter planes were later chattered for the team which was refused.

 

Ikem further revealed that the Embraer EMB135ER executive airplane was refused by the team despite lots of leg space.

Embraer EMB135ER interior play Dream Team VI refused 30-seater Embraer EMB135ER because of lack of leg space (Twitter)

 

The Personal Assistant of the Sports Minister further revealed a second plan ordered by Vice president, Prof Yemi Osinbajo was also turned down by the players despite appeals from the Minister of information, Lai Mohammed and Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun.

Nigerian businessman, sports philanthropist and enthusiast, Yemi Idowu was said to have also provided $300,000 for the 30-seater Embraer EMB135ER executive version which was also rejected.

Embraer EMB135ER play PA to Minister of Sports says they provided a 30-seater plane for the team because the Dream Team VI officially had just 25 players (Twitter)

 

Nneka revealed that the 30-seater Embraer EMB135ER was provided by the Sports Ministry because 25 players and officials were officially accredited for the games but Dream Team VI delegate had 32.

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