The local organising committee of Rio
2016 has admitted that it played the
wrong national when the Eagles faced
Japan on Thursday and tendered an
Nigerian egos were bruised during
Thursday’s match against Japan in the
Men’s Football Event of the 2016
Olympic Games when a wrong national
anthem was played.
The Eagles looked confused when the
strange tune came up over the Amazon
Arena’s public address system in
Manaus, as a few players tried to find
out what was going on.
The Daily Telegraph of Sydney wrote
that “the Super Eagles had to look
serious and emotional to a tune they
had never heard before.”
Nigeria had arrived late for the game
after failing to find a flight from their
training base in Atlanta, USA, only for
them to be welcomed by a wrong
national song.
However, they went on to win 5-4 in a
very interesting encounter despite jetlag
and an odd anthem that could not
demoralize them.
Goal has now gotten a statement out of
the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee for
the Olympic and Paralympic Games
apologizing for the unintended error.
“We understand hearing your national
anthem during an Olympic Games is
something nearly every athlete strives
for. Therefore, we regret a wrong
anthem was mistakenly played for
Nigeria ahead of their match against
Japan in the Amazon Arena. We
sincerely apologize to the players and
the Nigerian National Olympic
Committee,” Rio 2016 organisers told
Goal in an email statement.
International Media Manager Phillip
Wilkinson informed Goal that the
anthem played was that of Nigeria’s
neighbour to the north Niger, which
could explain why the mix-up
There has been no statement from the
Nigerian Olympic Committee.
When they play a national anthem
that’s not yours at the #
OlympicGames #NGR
11:56 AM – 6 Aug 2016
31 18
Lolade Adewuyi
This is not the first time a Nigeria
anthem has suffered a mix-up in an
international competition of such
A Panapress report indicated that
Nigeria officials accused Tunisia
of destabilizing their players during a
semi-final game at the 2004 Africa Cup
of Nations when it aired the old anthem
“Nigeria we hail thee” instead of “Arise
O Compatriots”. The hosts played the
correct anthem at half time as they
went on to win via penalty shootout.
At Copa America Centenario in the
United States last June, organizers
played the Chilean national anthem
instead of the Uruguayan anthem
during a group game with Mexico. The
Uruguayans, who were without
talisman Luis Suarez, lost 3-1.
In another major anthem gaffe,
Canadians were left angry during a
gold medal ceremony at the 1975 Pan-
American Games when the English
anthem “God Save the Queen” was
played instead of “O Canada.”
Nigeria will play their second game of
the competition against Sweden in
Manaus on Sunday night at 11pm.
They would expect the organizers to
have the right anthem in hand.