RIO DE JANEIRO: Nigeria, as usual with African football teams in major tournament, have become caught in a cash row ahead of their Olympic Games kickoff.

The Olympic football squad became stuck in Atlanta because of a problem with the payment for a flight to Rio. This meant the men’s team were likely to arrive in Brazil less than 36 hours before their opening match.

BBC quoted a NFF source as saying: “The money paid by the [sports] ministry for the charter flight did not hit airline’s account on Tuesday so they refused to fly the team to Brazil.

“It is a cumbersome exercise but they should have started the process much earlier, which NFF was pointing out. This issue has nothing to do with the NFF.”

Nigeria are due to kick off against Japan on Friday.

Nigeria, who are in Group B of the Rio Games alongside Sweden, Colombia and Japan, became the first African and non-European or South American team to win gold in 1996. They finished runners-up at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.