Presidency yet to approve Golden Eaglets’ World Cup budget
• Don’t blame Federal Government, says NSC
With two days to the end of the on-going FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile, the Presidency is said to be foot-dragging in approving the budget presented by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) for the Golden Eaglets’ participation in the championship.
However, a top official of the National Sports Commission (NSC) has absolved the Presidency of any blame for the delay in approving the money.
The Chile 2015 cadet championship started on October 17 with the Golden Eaglets having a smooth sail, as they clashed with Mexico in one of the semifinals this morning at Estadio Municipal Ester Roa in Concepcion.
The Guardian learnt that officials of the NFF had been running from pillar to post trying to raise money for the team in Chile.
A source hinted that the non-approval of the budget by the Presidency forced the NFF to cut down its official delegation to Chile.
According to the source, the Presidency was waiting for the NFF to make public the amount of money it raised from corporate organisations in its sponsorship drive for the Golden Eaglets’ participation in the World Cup.
Only the NFF President Amaju Pinnick and Deputy General Secretary, Emmanuel Ikpeme, were said to have made the trip to Chile a few days ago to cheer the Golden Eaglets in the semifinal against Mexico.
To avoid a breakdown of law and order in Eaglets’ camp in Chile, a top official of the NFF was said to have sourced for funds to enable the body pay winning bonuses and camp allowances to the players and their officials pending the approval of the budget by the Presidency.
Asked why the Presidency is yet to approve NFF’s budget for the Golden Eaglets’ participation in Chile 2015 World Cup, a top official of the NSC (name withheld) told The Guardian yesterday that “We met on Tuesday with the NFF and staff of the Presidency and we were guided on the memo because the event is on-going and we need a brief on creditors, who supported the journey so far. The General Secretary of the NFF was in the meeting and he has conveyed our message to the NFF.”
However, the NFF Secretary General, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, told The Guardian yesterday that the soccer house did not embark on any form of fund raising for Golden Eaglets’ participation in Chile, adding that anybody spreading such rumour was looking for a way to paint the NFF in bad light before the Presidency.
“We did not receive money from any corporate organisation for the Golden Eaglets’ participation in Chile. Whoever is saying such things is spreading falsehood, which is not good for our football,” Sanusi said.