Pa Michael Obi, father of the national Under-23 team captain Mikel Obi, has expressed his disappointment over the treatment of the team after winning bronze at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Pa Obi said that he had expected his son to lead the team to the country to be given a rapturous welcome and a presidential reception, but lamented the majority of the players left for their clubs after beating Honduras 3-2 in the bronze medal match to win Nigeria’s only medal at the Rio Games.
He noted that the inability of the federal government to put up a befitting welcome is a disappointment to the players and the country at large.
“I was surprised to read that there are no plans to receive the team. It is very unfair, especially after the team won the only medal at the Games,” the Chelsea midfielder’s father told Punch correspondent in Jos.
“The least they had expected was a hero’s welcome and a presidential handshake to appreciate their superlative performance, especially when nobody had expected that they would go far at the Games.
“I had expected Mikel to lead the team back to Nigeria, accorded a befitting reception, before going back to their various clubs.
“This is what an appreciative sports authorities and the Federal Government would have done. “We are all aware of the shoddy preparations for the Games and how they were stranded in another country before they got to the venue, a few hours to the start of their first game against Japan. Despite this, they struggled to make the country proud and if this is all they could get for their efforts, I think it’s very unfortunate.”