By Mark Baber
October 20 – Nigeria’s FA has agreed a budget of N6.3 billion ($17.5 million) for 2018, with the focus being on Russia 2018 following the national team’s successful qualification for the World Cup.
The General Assembly held in Jos on October 19 wrapped up with a triumphant communique, expressing “heartfelt appreciation to the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports, the National Assembly, various football stakeholders as well as players and officials of the Senior National Football, Super Eagles, for their tremendous efforts in ensuring Nigeria’s qualification for the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup Finals.”
The Assembly approved a new Federation’s total budget for year 2018 with activities to total N6,382,500,310.00. According to the federation: “The guaranteed revenues from sponsors and government subvention is the sum of N3,062,500,310.00, leaving a shortfall of the sum of N3,320,000,000.00, which the Federation has to work to augment through sponsorships and special interventions.”
New NFF Electoral and NFF Electoral Appeal Committees have been composed and a vote of confidence was passed on the NFF Executive Committee led by Amaju Pinnick.
The Executive Committee of Nigeria Football Federation which met on Wednesday also issued a statement expressing appreciation for those involved in Nigeria’s qualification for the World Cup and pledging “to do all that is necessary to ensure adequate preparation of the Super Eagles to set a new record of performance for an African country at the FIFA World Cup come Russia 2018, to the glory of Nigerian and African Football.”
In a bid to avoid previous scandals and distractions of the team refusing to travel until they had played, the NFF resolved “to ensure that negotiations with the players with regards to World Cup bonuses are firmly concluded and agreement signed before the end of this year.”
The Committee resolved that the arrangement of quality friendly matches for the team, is “non-negotiable”, and a plan of action will be put in place to “ encompass training camps, friendly matches, marketing and funds drive to ensure a great outing at the World Cup finals.”
Resolutions were also passed to restrict match bonuses to members of the Super Falcons and Super Eagles only and approved the recommendation of the Technical and Development Committee for the appointment of Randy Waldrum as Technical Adviser of the Super Falcons.
Given the overall atmosphere, Pinnick could be excused getting a little over-optimistic about Nigeria’s chances at the World Cup, saying: “With the kind of preparations we are putting in place, I think we can win the World Cup.”
What is for sure is that the turnaround from 14 months ago, when the Nigerian Federation was being fought over by rival factions and the NFF headquarters were up in flames, is quite remarkable.
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