Rio de Janeiro, June 17 (IANS) The Nigerian soccer team arrived in Brazil, three days behind schedule and a day before it opens its Confederations Cup football campaign against Tahiti.
The team landed in the Brazilian city of Belo Horizonte early Sunday morning, putting an end to speculations that Nigeria might miss the eight-team tournament due to unspecified “internal problems”, reports Xinhua.
Africa’s current top team was expected in Brazil last Thursday, but was reportedly delayed by a disagreement between the players and the regional federation over how much they would be paid for playing in the cup.
Prior to the team’s arrival, Jospeh Blatter, the head of FIFA, the world soccer body, announced that the “internal problems” plaguing the so-called “green eagles” had been resolved and the team would be arriving in Brazil Saturday.
The only team member to speak to the press upon landing Sunday was defensive player Kenneth Omeruo, who declined to say what had held up the team.
“I’m not authorized to speak about that, but it’s been resolved. I’m happy to be in Brazil,” he said.
Nigeria plays Tahiti in Belo Horizonte Monday in Group B, which also includes Spain and Uruguay.