Rio de Janeiro, Aug 4: Nigerian football team will reach Rio de Janeiro to participate at the Rio Olympics 2016 just a few hours before their kick-off today.
Nigeria take on Japan in their opening match at the games at 10:00 PM local time. Led by captain and Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel, the Nigerians would eye a stellar performance this time. [Full list of 16 football squads]
They had won gold medal in 1996 beating Argentina in the finals. They were also the finalists in 2008 but lost Argentina.
But their campaign in this edition starts with jerk as the Nigerian side is yet to reach the venue. Their is delay as the plane which assigned for the team is 'too small'.The team team media officer Timi Ebikagboro spoke to BBC Sport and said: "The players were uncomfortable with the size of the plane.
"The [Nigerian] government stepped in.
"The players have been assured of adequate medical care on the plane. It's been challenging but most importantly we will be ready for the first game."
The team was halted earlier in Atlanta, USA, because of a problem with the payment for their flight. The money had to go through different bank accounts and currency conversions.
Regarding the monitory issue, a source close to the Nigerian Football Federation said: "The money paid by the [sports] ministry for the charter flight did not hit airline's account on Tuesday so they refused to fly the team to Brazil.
"It is a cumbersome exercise but they should have started the process much earlier, which NFF was pointing out. This issue has nothing to do with the NFF,"