The Nigerian government has confirmed that it will spend about N3 billion ($8,340,000) on the Super Eagles for the 2018 World Cup holding in Russia next year. The sports minister Solomon Dalung gave the details in Abuja on Wednesday.
Dalung told reporters after meeting President Muhamadu Buhari that the budget for the competition had been sent to the president for a special intervention. He said part of the funds would be needed for training.
The minister also stated that a very strong federal government’s delegation would be mobilised to Russia to support the Eagles and intimidate the team’s opponents.
He said, “When you have a problem, for you to successfully address your problem, you have to review the history of your problem. One of the challenges we have been having in sports administration, especially competition is the welfare of the players and the officiating team and we intend to set a new approach to the question of welfare.
“By March, we intend to start paying the players their allowances, camping allowances upfront. Now, that will go a long way to boost the morale of the players and confidence too. The new method of governance in football has taken the pattern of change. We will also ensure that there is unity within the football family. Because unity too is a key factor going by some of the reports we had in the past where poor performances were attributable to lack of unity between the family, the technical team, the officials and the players. This unity has to be promoted.”
He then added, “Finally, we will also ensure that government makes funds available on time. That has been why the budget for the competition has since been sent to the president for a special intervention so that government can make provision for some of the funds we need for training now before other things can come up.”
The minister’s breakdown of the funding shows that the FIFA cash for qualified teams is part of the budget being announced. “We have a conservative budget of about N3 billion but out of that, FIFA is going to raise about N900 million, our sponsors and partners are also going to put about N600 million, government will conservatively raise about N2 billion or N2.5 billion to complement.”