The President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick, revealed during a senate hearing yesterday, that the federation is cash strapped due to the economic challenges of the country and can no longer guarantee funds to prosecute the Zambia-Nigeria World Cup qualification encounter.
He said that hotel and flight arrangements are in progress, but funds were still unavailable to finalize arrangements. He therefore made an appeal to the government to come to the aid of the football federation.
NFF had earlier ordered the invited foreign players to procure their own economy-class plane tickets to Abuja, for the same reason, and that refunds will be made by the federation.
Here we go again!
Nigeria seems not to have learned any lesson from the disgrace we experienced during the Olympic games in July. Let us recall, that after the Sports minister, Solomon Dalung, feigned ignorance of not being aware of the the financial challenges of the olympic soccer team, facts emerged that the minister was duly informed by the NFF, but he rather chose to put the players through hell in Atlanta. What we see now is a repeat of that saga. Toying with the emotions of soccer loving Nigerians is not a good thing to do. I know for sure that the Minister has been given a portfolio that does not fit him (dare to disagree with me). Need I mention post-olympic and para-olympic utterances from the minister?
I personally suggested, back in July, that the best way to handle the situation was for all of of our olympians to boycott participation until the minister is sacked. Nigerian’s fail to realize that they possess some power to make Government act sometimes. But we rather hold onto instant gratification, wanting soccer Gold, and forgetting that these issues will repeat itself. We have a long season of World Cup qualification games ahead of us. With the current state of the economy and bad relationship between the NFF and the Sports Ministry, expect to hear more bizarre stories and utterances.
What’s Your Kick?