The President of Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick, has said the sum of $2.8 million needed for the Super Eagles for their World Cup campaign in Russia should be available by end of April.
The football boss announced this on Friday at the inauguration of Odu’a Football Leagues at the Western Nigeria Football Forum office, Cocoa House, Ibadan in the South-west region of Nigeria.
He said the federation had been working very hard to get the money ready, adding that the federation was also working deep to ensure human errors were eliminated in its preparation for the tournament.
Pinnick said, “We have to support them to succeed. We cannot afford to fail at the FIFA World Cup.”
The NFF president said the federation had been monitoring the performance of Super Eagles players in their respective clubs. “For instance, goalkeeper Francis Uzoho, Kelechi Ihanacho and others are being monitored in their clubs to ensure they are doing well.
“Also, we have assisted Oghenekaro Otebo to move to UD Las Palmas in Spain to ensure that he plays in a strong league where he can play against world-class players like Lionel Messi.”
He then praised the promoters of the Western Nigeria Football Forum.
Expressing happiness with the establishment of the forum and the idea of a regional league, Pinnick said the region proved once again to be the pace setter in Nigeria. Twelve clubs in the six states in Southwest will participate in the football league.
Those behind the Western Football Forum include NFF First Vice President, Seyi Akinwumi; former General Secretary of the NFF Taiwo Ogunjobi and former Eagles coach Adegboye Onigbinde. The Acting Director General the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission, Seye Oyeleye, said the commission was working with the forum to put the region on the map as a flourishing sports community.
Oyeleye pledged to revive the Principals’ Cup competition, introduce Governors’ Cup and Tertiary Institution’s’ Cup tournaments in the region.
He said, “It is part of our mandate at the Commission to put the Southwest Region on the map as a flourishing sport community
“The economic benefit of sports is also extremely important in general as a tool to curb massive unemployment among our youth. This explains why we count sports as a critical pillar of our development trajectory as a people.”
Pinnick also told the gathering that the Federation plans building two high level practice venues in every state within the next five years with the support of FIFA and private sector sponsors and they will be owned by football associations of each state.