Football

NFF borrows to prosecute Super Eagles matches

Defending champions the Olympic Eagles of Nigeria got off their campaign at the 2019 U-23 Africa Cup of Nations on a dour note following a 1-0 loss to Cote d’Ivoire at the Al Salam Stadium, Cairo, on Saturday evening.

The embattled Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has raised the alarms that it has borrowed so much funds to prosecute the four Super Eagles FIFA World Cup qualifier matches, following the inability of the federal government through the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development to release the budgeted funds for the qualifiers.

Reliable sources close to the federation who made the lamentation told newsmen that it is unthinkable for the federal government to abandon the football federation at a crucial stage of qualifiers for a big tournament as the World Cup, complaining that the eggheads of the federation were left with no other option than to source fund to prosecute the matches.

The federation has come under severe attacks and criticisms from many fronts, ranging from the Eagles shameful loss to the visiting Central Africa Republic (CAR) in Lagos, debt arrears to the Eagles technical manager, Gernot Rohr and the winning match bonuses to the Eagles players.

However, reacting to the financial situation confronting the federation and the qualification of the team, our source said that Nigerians unfairly blaming the federation based on ignorance, lamenting that it has not been easy for the Glass House.

“I am sure that those blaming the federation are not aware that the federal government has not released a dime to the federation to prosecute four World Cup qualifier matches. Where is it done that the government will not release money for the execution of a crucial qualifier tournament like the World Cup, which will provide a big stage for the country?

“Let me tell you on good authority that the federation had to go borrowing to prosecute those four qualifier matches. It has not been easy for the federation to cope with the financial situation confronting it now. I cannot tell you the exact amount we have borrowed but you should understand that it takes millions of Naira to prosecute a Super Eagles match. As for the arrears of winning bonus to the players, I can tell you that the federation only owes the last match against CAR in Cameroon last weekend,” our source noted.

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