‘Off-field chaos costing Africans World Cup’- Siasia

Nigeria’s Olympic football coach Samson Siasia believes an African country could win the World Cup if it weren’t for the pitiful state of sports administration blighting their chances.

Siasia led Nigeria to the semifinals of the Olympics on Saturday with a 2-0 win over Denmark despite a chaotic build-up to the tournament in Brazil and rows over player’s allowances.

Nigeria arrived in Brazil just hours before their opening 5-4 win over Japan last week after being stranded for several days at their training base in Atlanta because the Federation hadn’t booked flight tickets in advance.

Meanwhile, Siasia has threatened to quit, claiming he hasn’t been paid his salary “for the past five months.”

“I think that’s an issue we have not just in Nigeria. I think it’s the case with most African countries,” said Siasia.

“I think if African countries were better prepared they might have a shot at the World Cup.

“But the problems, it’s always the same thing and it’s not good trying to compete with having problems.

“Hopefully we might find a way to change the way we prepare and have a shot. African countries won’t win the World Cup having these problems.”

Nigeria next face world champions Germany in Salvador on Wednesday and captain John Obi Mikel, who opened the scoring against the Danes, believes his side have the talent to match their achievement of winning gold at the 1996 Atlanta Games.

“I am not surprised. When we were in Atlanta we knew the team we had and we had a talented bunch of players,” said the Chelsea midfielder.

“That’s why we just wanted to get to Brazil and kick-start our tournament.

“It was a bit frustrating coming down here, but while we were in Atlanta we knew that we had a good shot at getting to the final or winning the tournament.

“With the problems we have had, getting to this stage is just absolutely amazing and we just have to keep going.”


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