The Rio Olympics bronze winning national U-23 team is embroiled in a misunderstanding over inexplicable delay in the sharing of the $390,000 gift by a Japanese surgeon several weeks after the cheques were presented to the team.
Japanese plastic surgeon, Katsuya Takasu wrote out two Citibank cheques – $200,000 in favour of coach Samson Siasia and another $190,000 in favour of Chelsea star Mikel, in support of the team’s dogged spirit at the Games after setbacks.
It was further gathered that officials of a top commercial bank flew out to Uyo to collect the cheque in Mikel’s name when the Super Eagles assembled there for an AFCON qualifier against Tanzania last week.
It is expected that the cheque will be cleared in a few days from now.
Coach Siasia, on the other hand, has said he has lodged the other cheque in his name at a bank and that it will take 22 working days for him to be able to cash it.
He is currently back in the United States of America, where he lives with his family.
A worried team member expressed some reservations over the delay cashing these cheques, saying they may well be schemed out of getting their share of the cash gift.
“The entire team agreed how this money will be shared, but with all these delays we are no longer sure we will get what has been promised us,” he complained.
“Delay is very, very dangerous in this case.”
“We really don’t know what is happening as regards the cash,” added a player to the Rio Olympics.