The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the Rio Olympic bronze winning team led by Chelsea star, Mikel Obi are heading a collision course over the $390,000 donated to them by a Japanese fan.
On Saturday, the NFF issued a statement quoting president Amaju Pinnick as saying it was mischievous to say they planned to use the donation from the Japanese plastic surgeon Katsuya Takasu to offset mounting debts.
Rather, they insisted that they were merely conducting an integrity test on the donation and the donor.
The Japanese fan issued two Citibank cheques – $200,000 in favour of coach Samson Siasia and $190,000 in favour of Mikel.
“We have resolved that no matter what, we will not surrender this cash to the NFF, the team was quoted to have told sources.
“Mikel has insisted all of us will get our share of the money. That we should not mind what the people in the NFF are saying.
“He will make available this cash when he comes for next month’s AFCON qualifier against Tanzania in Uyo.”
A team meeting has already resolved that both players and officials will receive equal amount of the cash with Mikel himself agreeing to give part of his own share for the chief coach (Siasia) to get more than the rest of the squad.
It was further gathered that the sharing formula agreed was a flat rate for the 22 players (18 accredited players and four alternate players) and 10 officials.
Japanese plastic surgeon, Takasu had traveled from Tokyo to Brazil to watch Nigeria beat Honduras 3-2 to win the bronze on Saturday.
“I had travelled from Tokyo prepared to reward them anyway, and to watch them win the bronze inside the stadium was very fulfilling,” he said.
“This team showed resilience and fought the hardest to achieve success, despite all their problems – some people would have given up but they didn’t.”
“In everything we must always let people understand that they are appreciated and not just in football but generally in life,” said Takasu.