17 August 2016
Bala Ka’oje, a former Minister of Sports, said Nigeria’s poor preparations for the Rio Olympics contributed mainly to the team’s semi-final 0-2 loss to Germany on Wednesday in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Germany’s two goals were scored in each half of the match, sending Nigeria away from the Rio Olympics football final.
Ka’oje said over-reliance of the sports administrators, especially the football administrators, on luck, failed the Dream Team VI at the Rio Olympics.
According to Ka’Oje, rather than prepare adequately for competitions, sports administrators, especially those in the football circle, preferred to prepare teams for competition few weeks to major tournaments.
He blamed the present sports administrators for the Dream Team’s semi-finals loss, noting that efforts should be made to ensure the team grabbed the bronze medal at the expense of Honduras.
“I feel so disappointed watching that match; Siasia’s game plan, especially his substitutions, were wrong.
“The team lacked coordination at some point and some of the changes made were unnecessary.
“Inadequate preparation is the major factor why the team lost but I didn’t like the way the boys played; if they had adequate preparation, it would have been a different ball game.
“What this means is that we must prepare for competitions at the right time, when others are preparing; one hopes on luck only when he or she has prepared late for something,’’ Ka’Oje said.
He said, however, that all hopes were not lost as the team was capable of defeating Honduras for the third place match to claim bronze.
The former minister said: “they have also tried to get to that level considering the poor preparation of the team before the Olympics.
“So far, we have not gotten any medal in Rio and we are relying so much on the Dream Team to give us a medal.’’
The defeat of the Dream Team VI means Germany would now play Brazil on Saturday for the gold medal, while Nigeria would battle Honduras for the bronze.
Brazil had earlier defeated Honduras 6-0 in the first semi-final match of the day