Posted: Mon June 17, 2013 1:08AM; Updated: Mon June 17, 2013 1:08AM

Nigeria conflict over player bonuses remains unresolved

Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
Nigeria celebrates winning the African Cup of Nations in February.
Armando Franca/AP

BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil (AP) -- With a warning that their battle over bonuses is not over, Nigeria's mutinous footballers finally arrived at the Confederations Cup on Sunday with just a day to prepare for their opening match.

The African champions took three flights over more than a day to reach the Brazilian city of Belo Horizonte just before dawn on Sunday morning after starting out in Namibia.

The fatigued players play Tahiti in the World Cup warm-up tournament on Monday, and they were due to arrive in Brazil last week before threatening to go on strike.

Goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama was unwilling to discuss the row with his federation when he faced reporters in Belo Horizonte.

"It's something that shouldn't have gone into the press,'' Enyeama said, rather than explaining the rebellion that threatened Nigeria's participation.

"We don't want to elaborate on it,'' he added. "We want to concentrate on the football.''

But when pushed on the status of the bonuses' dispute, Enyeama was forced to concede that it remained unresolved.

"We haven't settled anything .... after the championship we will revisit the issue,'' Enyeama said. "For now we are done.''

Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi sought to restore harmony within the Nigeria camp by not criticizing his squad.

"I can't say I am terribly upset with my players, it is their decision,'' he said. "It depends on the circumstances around it.

"We are here to make Africa proud and Nigeria proud. Whatever happened before is behind us and we just need to concentrate and play our game tomorrow.''

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

SI Videos
Videos from the Web
Hot Topics: NBA Playoffs NHL Playoffs Chris Johnson Jameis Winston NFL Draft Michael Sam Aldon Smith
TM & © 2014 Time Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved. Terms under which this service is provided to you. Read our privacy guidelines and ad choices.
SI CoverRead All ArticlesBuy Cover Reprint