Japanese Surgeon Donates $200,000 To Nigeria's Olympic Soccer Team
A benefactor is flying to Rio to hand $200,000 (£153,500) to the Nigerian
Olympic team, in addition to his promise to pay a $30,000 (£23,000) bonus
to each player if they win gold.
Japanese plastic surgeon Katsuya Takasu wants to reward the team after
hearing about their financial difficulties.
He will pay them $20,000 (£15,350) for silver and $10,000 (£7,680) for
Takasu told BBC Sport the $200,000 “is a special donation” and “it is
better to deliver it to the team personally”.
He added: I’ve made previous donations to a Japanese hockey team and other
notable causes in the past but this right now with Nigeria is incredibly
passionate for me.
“I am deeply determined to motivate this indomitable and strong Nigerian
team. I don’t want to distract them but to push them further to their
target – the gold in Brazil.
“I hope to see them win gold. They’ve sacrificed a lot to get to Brazil
and reach the semi-finals. Humans with such a strong spirit should be
encouraged to perform beyond their own imagination.”
The Samson Siasia-led Nigeria team will face Germany in the semi-final on
Wednesday and they will be without their top scorer with four goals –
Ogenekaro Etebo – because of injury.
Before arriving in Rio, the ‘Dream Team VI’ were held up in Atlanta, USA,
because of a problem with the payment for their flight.
The 1996 Olympic champions only landed in Brazil just hours before their
opening 5-4 win over Japan.
Nigeria had a troubled build-up to their 2-0 quarter-final victory against
Denmark in Salvador last weekend – the players boycotted a training
session in a dispute over pay.
“I read about the financial problems affecting the team and I felt the
need to make a big contribution,” Takasu told BBC Sport.
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) are impressed by Takasu’s offers but
are being careful.
“I have been in direct contact with Mr Takasu and impressed by his
gesture,” NFF vice-president Seyi Akinwunmi told BBC Sport.
“But we need not get carried away because the integrity of the country is
“First we must check about this. Significantly, the team has an important
game and we need to focus on that.”
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Olympic team have now received their camp
allowances from the government, according to the team’s media officer Timi
“The sports ministry has cleared all camp allowances of the team in Brazil.
“Players and officials have now been paid 22 days allowances,” said
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