World Cup Qualifier: Nigeria/Zambia Clash Threatened By Lack Of Fund, NFF Tells Senate | Independent Newspapers Limited
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World Cup Qualifier: Nigeria/Zambia Clash Threatened By Lack Of Fund, NFF Tells Senate

PTF, World cup qualifier, NFF, Senate
Posted: Oct 5, 2016 at 12:59 pm   /   by   /   comments (1)

By Rotimi Akinwumi.

ABUJA – Nigeria may not be able to honour its planned World Cup qualifier game against Chipolopolo of Zambia because of lack of funds.

This disclosure was made Tuesday by Mr. Amaju Pinnick, president of the Nigeria Football Federation, while appearing before the Senate Committee on Sports.

The match is slated for Sunday in Lusaka.

Pinnick, who appeared before the Senate Committee on Sports, lamented that lack of adequate funding was frustrating efforts by the NFF to operate efficiently.

He noted that the federation had made good preparation to ensure a good outing at the World Cup qualifier game, especially as it was placed in a group of death, but the paucity of funds is becoming a big problem to the federation.

“Nigeria was paired with former African Cup winner, Zambia, Algeria, and Cameroon that won the Nations Cup four times, and they have been to the World Cup seven times. Algeria is the highest ranked team in Africa as we speak. 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 had 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” he said.

The NFF boss said chartered flight arrangements had been made with Arik Air, which had assigned a technical crew.

He said while the federation was able to secure accommodation in Protea Hotel, which is 10 minutes away from the stadium, 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 wants to come and watch that game from Zambia and that is our predicament.

“Beyond that, we are also looking at the next game against Algeria, which is coming up on the November 9, in Uyo (Akwa Ibom State). The Algerian national team have informed me that they are coming with about 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 the contents and contents here encapsulates. We have a very good team and we have a strong technical crew”, he said.

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