The Nigerian Olympic soccer team is stuck in Atlanta just 36 hours before its first game, all thanks to an unpaid flight bill.
According to multiple reports, a “logistical mix-up” resulted in the Nigerian sports ministry failing to pay for the team’s chartered flight from Atlanta to Rio.
The flight will reportedly not take off until the matter is resolved.
“The Nigerian government [sports ministry] is responsible for booking the tickets for the team to travel but we heard there is a logistical mix-up with payments,’ a source close to the Nigeria Football Federation told the BBC.
“The money paid by the ministry for the charter flight did not hit airline’s account on Tuesday so they refused to fly the team to Brazil.”
The problem reportedly stemmed from the money having to transfer through multiple bank accounts and currency conversions.
“It is a cumbersome exercise but they should have started the process much earlier, which NFF was pointing out. This issue has nothing to do with the NFF,” the same source told the BBC.
Nigeria is set to play Japan on Friday in Manaus, a small city in the middle of the Amazon. The clock is ticking for the team to get to Brazil ahead of time.
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