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Team Nigeria: Uneasy calm in Rio over ‘missing’ ceremonial outfit

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Habu Gumel

Habu Gumel

•Nigerians Demand Probe, NOC, Sports Minister In Emergency Meeting

The non-arrival of Team Nigeria’s official ceremonial outfits in Rio de Janeiro, which ‘forced’ athletes to appear in tracksuits during the opening ceremony of the 2016 Olympics Games Friday, has sparked a controversy between top officials of the Nigeria Olympics Committee (NOC) and the sports ministry.

Team Nigeria members were to wear official attires during their parade at Maracana Stadium for the opening ceremony. But this did not happen.

Rather, the athletes came out in tracksuits, an appearance that took many sports-loving Nigerians by surprise. There were reports yesterday that the attires made for Team Nigeria for the opening ceremony could not make it to the Olympics Games venue in Rio.

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While some Nigerians voiced their anger on various sports programmes on radio and television, other took to social media to express their disappointment. They call for immediate probe of the circumstances that led to the embarrassment.

Speaking with The Guardian yesterday, an official of the NOC claimed ignorance of the attires made for Team Nigeria for the opening ceremony.

However, The Guardian was able to get across to the NOC President, Engr. Habu Gumel in Rio at about 2.30 pm (Nigerian time), and he responded by saying: “I am going into a meeting with the Honourable minister now. I will get back to you soon.”

Gumel never called back as he promise. He also refused to pick subsequent calls put across to him by The Guardian.

Meanwhile, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki has been reported to have called for investigation into the circumstances behind the Dream Team’s delayed departure from Atlanta to Brazil for the Rio Olympic Games.


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