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 our predicament.
“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.”