Adelabu pleads for fair disbursement of FIFA’s COVID-19 palliative
Former International, Adegoke Adelabu, says he is yet to come to terms with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which has ravaged sporting activities across the world. He picked the local league players in the country as the most affected sports persons, saying they are poorly paid hence the effect of the lockdown on them.
Speaking to The Guardian during the week, Adelabu, who said the welfare of the local league players were barely taken care of by their respective clubs even before the lockdown resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, wondered how they would cope with the situation before the league resumes.
“The whole thing is so shocking and I know that it has affected a lot of clubs in Nigeria that depend on government subvention for survival. Even before the crisis, most of these players were neither paid well nor paid regularly.
“As it is now, local league players have no choice than to keep themselves fit by training regularly so that when the league resumes, they will be able to pick up the physiological aspect of themselves and get back to business as long as they are still under their respective club’s payrolls,” he said while pleading that the succor, which the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) received from FIFA as a palliative, would be used judiciously.
“Recently, I read that FIFA gave the NFF some money as palliatives. What I think the country’s football governing body can do is to make sure that all the registered clubs in the country are given some money since these teams are not generating any money as proceeds from gate takings. This is apart from the allowance the players are supposed to get from their respective clubs.
“All hands must on deck and the players should remain focused and calm while the scientists, who are still struggling with the vaccine for the pandemic, look for a cure for the virus.
“We’re talking about a sport where players come in contact with one another during a game. I hope that the sports scientists will come up with an idea of developing jerseys and masks players can wear to avoid contracting the virus during games.
“Across the world, the fans can’t wait to start watching their various clubs in action on television live without being there to see a first hand of the matches due to the COVID-19 at the stadium.
“Also, for the players, there should be a way to dispose of off those used jerseys and masks after each match to prevent infection peradventure any player has it unknowingly,” he stated.