Coach of the bronze medal-winning U23 Eagles at the just concluded 2016 Olympics in Brazil, Samson Siasia, has hit back at senator Joe Obinna Ogba who criticized the team for collecting a $390,000 cash bonus from Japanese plastic surgeon Dr. Katsuya Takasu (read here).
Explaining the rationale behind receiving and sharing the money, Siasia explained:
“What actually happened is that the man was just curious how a team that was neglected and abandoned could arrive Rio under five hours and defeat the Japanese team that had all they needed and have been put together for over three years, that was his
“These guys who are saying they want to do all manner of checks, what have they done for us? Do you know that since we returned, nobody from the NFF or Ministry has called us to say that we did well. The president came and just talked and that was it, well it is not the first time he will be talking.
“When players don’t even have $ 100 dollars in their pocket and you want to come and preach to them.
“The Japanese benefactor said $ 200,000 and $ 190,000 was supposed to be for bronze medal and it was split among the players and officials equally. It is not my personal money and this must be made clear.
“What I got was what every other player of official in the team got about $ 14,000 dollars each. The man came to Salvador where we played and gave $200,000 as draft to me and $ 190,000 to Mikel because he cannot write cheque to every member of the team, he made it simpler so that we all can share the money and now we are paying to the individual accounts of the boys.
“So make this issue clear to everybody that has been following it, the money was never meant for me or Mikel alone but for the entire team including the doctors and other backroom staff.”