We don’t have money, Siasia cries out for help ‎

Samson Siasia

Nigeria national U23 team coach, Samson Siasia, has raised alarm over the team’s shoddy preparations for the forthcoming summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The 48-year-old tactician lamented that they “don’t have money” as his team, currently camping in Atlanta, United States of America (USA), intensifies preparations for the quadrennial showpiece.

Despite several setbacks notably in the form of inadequate funding, Siasia still managed to lead the Dream Team VI to glory at the CAF U23 tournament last year – automatically qualifying for the male football event in Rio.

And the gaffer now fears similar challenge could hamper his team’s chances of clinching gold at the Olympics proper, if not handled properly.

“We don’t have money. We are in the (United States of) America now without any money. So, it is a big problem,” Siasia cried out.

“It is not a good image to go to the Olympics while trying to beg for money around, actually begging people for money to take care of the Nigerian Olympic team.

“How are we going to win gold, if we keep begging for money to take care of our athletes?

“We are without any money in our pocket. There are no funds coming from anywhere. That is not a good thing.”

Siasia’s team has only won one out of their last five warm-up games – a situation the coach attributes to lack of “motivation”.

“When you have players who are not motivated and encouraged, but you want them to come and do a miracle.

“Everybody needs to be encouraged at one time or the other,” he revealed.

He however pleaded with the Federal Government to come to the rescue of his team and sports in general in the country which according to him is “dying”.

“We just want to appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to come to the rescue of sports in the country as our father and sports-loving President.

“The sports sector is dying and it is adversely affecting the Olympic teams that have qualified to represent Nigeria at the Rio Olympics Games, not just football, but the other (seven) sports that Nigeria will campaign in Rio.

“The reason is well known which is the sports ministry needs to be funded adequately. This has adversely affected the Nigeria Football Federation too. Everybody is borrowing.

“This has to stop. President Buhari has to help us by approving some funds for our Olympic teams to prepare well. If the funds are not there, how are you going to prepare to win gold?”

Siasia’s team will play two warm-up matches in the USA before they depart to Brazil on July 29.

They are drawn in Group B alongside Sweden, Colombia and Japan.