Nigerian captain, John Obi Mikel, has slammed the Nigeria Football Federation after he was forced to put up his own money to help his country achieve their remarkable bronze medal at Rio 2016.
The Chelsea midfielder has recently returned to London from a successful Rio 2016 campaign and was brutally honest about the extent of the problems he faced out there.
The Nigeria captain organised travel, paid for meals and booked training pitches while trying to physically and tactically prepare for games.
The bronze medal, Mikel explained, was his country’s only moment of glory during the Olympics amid the troubles he had in Brazil.
“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.”