While the Super Eagles of Nigeria are expected to face Zambia in the match of the World qualifiers on Sunday, October 9, they have an outstanding debt of previous flights, which has posed a threat to their trip.
However, the Nigeria Football Federation pleaded with players to fly economy while they were coming into the country ahead of the Zambia clash. Those who insist of flying 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 of his team.
“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 said.
“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.”
Initially, there was a report insinuating that the Super Eagles might miss out on the clash with Zambia because of the inability of the NFF to secure funding to sponsor the game. However, the Nigeria Football Federation released a statement denying the reports, stating that the situation was under control and the game will be 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, even though the organization has not been able to pay for the Hotel accommodation of about 60 to 70 rooms, where the Super Eagles will be staying in Zambia.
All the best to the Super Eagles in the forthcoming match!