Nigeria players go on strike, miss plane to Confederations Cup

The Nigeria squad missed their flight to the Confederations Cup after a disappointing 1-1 draw against Namibia in World Cup qualifying on Wednesday. According to Reuters, the players went on strike when they didn't receive the bonus money they were due after the Namibia game. Their first Confederations Cup match is scheduled for Monday against minnows Tahiti in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

From Reuters:

"They are declining to leave," Namibia Football Association general secretary Barry Rukoro told Reuters. "They were supposed to go at 11 a.m. this morning but they say they are owed money by their association and want it sorted before they will leave the hotel.

"Their officials all departed on an earlier flight this morning but the players and the technical staff are still here. So far there is no indication they are leaving."

Sources said the Nigerian players were angry over unpaid bonus money promised to them after they beat Kenya in a World Cup qualifier last week.

Nigeria needed an 83rd minute goal to prevent an upset against Namibia, who went ahead in the 77th minute. It's worth noting that this was a Namibia side that lost their coach 48 hours earlier and had his Football Manager playing assistant take over for him.

Anyway, things are starting to look up for Tahiti.

UPDATE: The intervention of FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke seems to have sorted things out and Nigeria will now arrive in Brazil on Saturday.