John Obi Mikel has been reimbursed with the sum of $4,600 by the federal ministry of youth and sports, the Nigeria Football Federation has confirmed.
The Dream Team VI were held to ransom by management of a hotel in Sao Paulo over unpaid bills, but the Chelsea star bailed the team out before the left for Salvador where they defeated Denmark 2-0 in the quarter final.
“I am happy to be a Nigerian, because in spite of all the challenges, you have taken the world by storm; you have by your performance given happiness to more than 160 million Nigerians,” said Chinyeaka Ohaa who addressed the team on behalf of sports minister, Solomon Dalung.
“Football is the biggest unifying factor in Nigeria today. From Mr. President to the average Nigerian you have made everyone proud [against Denmark].
“I am humbled by your efforts, your commitment, your patriotism. I want to assure you that your sacrifices will not be in vain. Aside whatever the NFF have for you, we will as much as possible make you happy, if only you will be patient with us. With your performance [against Denmark], I am convinced that you will get that gold.”
In his response, Mikel thanked the ministry while urging them to do more in terms of motivation.
“We want to thank you for your fatherly support. In truth, there have been a lot of challenges, but every time we go onto the field, we forget about everything and make sure our fatherland comes first. We have done that so far and we will continue to do that, but we need more motivation,” he said.
Nigeria face Germany in the semifinal of the Olympic Games on Wednesday at the Corinthians Arena.