U23 AFCON: Dalung wants Nigeria U23’s nine months’ wages settled before final

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Nigeria’s sports minister Solomon Dalung has congratulated the Dream Team VI’s impressive display after they qualified for the men’s football event of the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.

Etebo Oghenekaro’s penalty helped Samson Siasia’s men beat hosts, Senegal 1-0 in the semifinal of the Caf U23 Africa Cup of Nations to advance to the final.

Goalkeeper Daniel Emmanuel denied Senegal’s Ibrahima Keita from the spot in the first half before Oghenekaro’s 75th minute penalty settled the tie in Nigeria’s favour.

“Congratulations to Nigeria’s Dream team,” Dalung was qouted in a release. “They’ve qualified for the final of the U23 African championship after beating Senegal 1-0 and they’ve also qualified to represent Nigeria at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

“I watched the game with former England international John Fashanu and some visitors,” he admitted.

While lamenting the poor motivation given to the team, the minister ordered the immediate payment of all outstanding match bonuses and allowances owed the players and officials.

“This is an emergency problem we inherited and I have directed the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry and the Director General Alhassan Yakmut to source for intervention funds to settle the players before this Saturday.

“The players have done extremely well under the harsh 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 billed for Saturday.

“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.

Following its victory, Nigeria will participate in the men’s football event next year in Brazil for the first time since Beijing 2008 Olympics when they finished as runners up to Argentina under current coach Siasia.

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