Nigeria’s U-23 squad is still in contention for the bronze medal and possibly a $10,000 payday for each player.
Nigeria’s football team had its Olympic hopes trampled by Germany, losing 2 to 0 in the semifinals match at Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo.
Their loss means they still have a shot at bronze, which could translate into a $10,000 payday for each player from the squad’s Japanese patron and plastic surgeon Katsuya Takasu. Reportedly he’s enroute to Rio to personally deliver the reward plus an additional $200,000 (£153,500) “special donation.”
However even if it rains nairas, the U-23 team’s crushing loss will weigh heavy on coach Samson Siasia, who brought home silver at the Beijing games and had his sights on striking gold in Rio.
Some fans have voiced their disappointment, others have been stunned into silence:
Good game Nigeria!!! for a soccer team the government didn't care much for, bronze is good enough. #ProudlyNigerian
— Amara Ekeh (@mandyamek) August 17, 2016
Every four years Nigeria Olympic soccer team keep dreaming.... When will they wake up?#WakeUp
— Adewale Adeoye (@dewalley) August 17, 2016
Chai and popcy warned me not to be emotionally invested in this Nigeria soccer team.. #NGRGER ❌??
— Dolapo (@king_pizi) August 17, 2016
Nigeria’s soccer team, the Cowboys, Mississippi State, Why do I keep going for teams that continue to hurt me?
— BAEvenclaw (@KKoming2AmerAKA) August 17, 2016
And so the two decade-long drought continues since the last time the Nigerians became the first African team to win gold medal at the 1999 Olympics in Athens, Georgia.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane to that glorious game…
Nigeria, Africa's last soccer team in Rio, face Germany in today's semis. Watch them win gold 20 years ago in 1996. pic.twitter.com/HDF8ZFKfqG
— Facts About Africa (@OnlyAfricaFacts) August 17, 2016