The President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, has raised an alarm over paucity of fund to facilitate the Super Eagles’ World Cup qualifiers against the Chipolopolo of Zambia. The match will hold in Ndola on Sunday.
Pinnick, who appeared before the Senate Committee on Sports, in Abuja, lamented that lack of adequate funding was frustrating efforts by the NFF to operate efficiently.
He said: “Nigeria was paired against Zambia, Cameroun and Algeria. It is a group that is called “group of death,” which means we need to intensify our preparations. We need to monitor our players and make sure that the ticket is made available.
“The good news is that I think we have a very sound technical crew and we also have a lot of our players doing very well, but the missing link is our financial incapacitation, which activates practically everything you do on the field and off the field.
“Before now, we have sent representation to government for intervention because funds were not coming in from our sponsors, which relates to the economy of the country at the moment, and is being very difficult for them. That is what they claim. So, we didn’t have any option than to result to writing to government, which we did and we are still awaiting response from them and the match is in five days.”
The NFF boss said a chartered flight arrangements had been made with Arik Airline, which has assigned a technical crew. He revealed that the federation was able to secure accommodation in Protea Hotel, which is 10 minutes away from the stadium, but it had not been able to pay for it.
“We have been able to secure about 60 to 70 rooms but we need to make some payments so that they (the hotel) will keep the rooms because everybody from Zambia wants to come and watch that game and that is our predicament.
“Beyond that, we are also looking at the next game against Algeria, which is coming up on November 9 in Uyo (Akwa Ibom State). The Algerian national team has informed me that they are coming with two to three private jets that will be bringing their team.
“As it is, everybody is taking this championship or qualifiers very, very serious but, like I said, the good news about us is that we have a very good team and we have a strong technical crew.”