By Richard Jideaka, Abuja:
Nigeria's quest to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia is seriously threatened by the paucity of funds to prosecute the Super Eagles qualifying matches by the Nigeria Football Federation.
The country might even withdraw from the women' s Under-20 and Under-17 World Cup tournaments in Jordan next month and Papua New Guinea later in the year if there is no improvement in the financial situation in the football ruling body.
Complete Sports reports that the NFF, sensing the dangers of not being able to send the two teams to the FIFA World Cups for the two age-grade women teams and the effect of not being able to execute Super Eagles qualifiers adequately may have on the nation's football, have written for intervention by the federal government
"It is true that we have written to the federal government through the minister of youth and sports to intervene and bail us of the financial difficulties we are going through. The situation is so bad that we doubt if our junior women's teams will be able to attend the two FIFA World Cup championships that they have qualified for this year," an NFF source told Completesportsnigeria.com.
"Our dear Super Eagles are also in danger of not qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia if the fund paucity persists. You cannot believe it that if not for NFF president Amaju Pinnick who stood as guarantor with a bank, we might not have been able to raise flight tickets for Super Eagles players for the game against Tanzania on Saturday. It is so bad that only government can bail us."
Our source who is a top ranking board member of the NFF also divulged that the financial stress the NFF is going through now is a result of the massive cut in its subventions from government from N150 million to N60 million monthly.
The NFF man also said that the Treasury Single Account (TSA) of government is also slowing down activities as money is not readily available when needed, adding that salaries of coaches and top management staff are being owed for several months because of TSA and sponsors and partners of the NFF not meeting their financial obligations to the contracts.