President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju
Pinnick, on Tuesday raised the alarm over a lack of
adequate funds for the Super Eagles’ World Cup qualifier
against Zambia in Ndola on Sunday.
Pinnick, who appeared before the Senate Committee on
Sports, lamented a lack of adequate funding was
frustrating the NFF’s efforts.
He said, “Nigeria was paired with former Africa Cup of
Nations winners, Zambia, Algeria and Cameroon, who
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 have sent a 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 it has been
very difficult for them –that is what they claim. So, we
didn’t have any option but to resort to writing to
government, which we did and we are still waiting for a
response from them and the match is five days away.”
The NFF boss said chartered flight arrangements had been
made with Arik Air for the trip to Zambia.
Pinnick added, “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 in Zambia and that is
“Beyond that, we are also looking at the next game against
Algeria, which is coming up on November 9 in Uyo. The
Algerian national team have informed me that they are
coming in about two to three private jets.”