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Sunday, 9 October 2016
NFF owe over N300m to flight agents
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) are owing over N300m to flight agents according to Pulse Sports sources.
The cash-strapped federation are soliciting for money to finance Super Eagles2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Zambia.
The Super Eagles of Nigeria will on Sunday, October 9 face Zambia in the match-day one of the World qualifiers.
Pulse Sports learnt that the NFF are also soliciting for funds to pay the sum of over N300m owed to sports agent who booked flights for Super Eagles players.
It was also learnt that the NFF pleaded with players to fly economy while they were coming into the country ahead of the Zambia clash.
Those who flew first class were asked to pay the balance themselves.
Ahead of the clash, president of the NFF Amaju Pinnick on Wednesday, October 5 appeared before the Senate Committee on Sports in Abuja to lament the lack of adequate funding.
“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,” Pinnick told the Committee as quoted by the Guardian.
“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.”
Initial reports emerged that the Super Eagles might be in danger of missing out on the clash with Zambia because of the inability of the NFF to secure funding to sponsor the game.
The NFF, however, released a statement denying the reports and also stating steps they had been taken to make the game a success.
Pinnick also confirmed to the Committee that a chartered flight arrangement has been made with Arik Airline to fly the Super Eagles to Zambia.
He, however, revealed that the NFF have not been able to pay Protea Hotel where the Super Eagles will be staying in Zambia.
“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,” Pinnick said.
He also confirmed that the NFF have made plans for Super Eagles home fixture against Algeria in match-day 2 of the qualifiers which will hold in Uyo.