The National Association of Nigeria Professional Footballers, NANPF has received the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) certificate of registration of the “Footballers Welfare Foundation ” (FWF) to drive its Players Welfare Promotion Agenda
According to the President of the Nigeria Players Union, Tijani Babaginda, former Nigeria international, ” the stark reality facing the union’s inability to address the multiple health challenges and other socio- economic conditions of our players , as a result of the union’s inability to access basic statutory funding options from the system in addressing fundamental welfare challenges of players and their dependants in line with global best practice, has triggered the establishment of the FWF
” Its no longer news that we have scores of players, both current and former facing real hardship, unable to meet their basic needs”
Describing the situation as worrisome, the Union’s Scribe, Austin Popo, said ” a great number of former players have died from one form of sickness or another, and in most cases it was as a result of their inability to access medical facility due to lack of fund.Why one may acknowledge the fact that some of our players have lived recklessly, without bothering and planning for their future, it is also true that those who may wish to plan, cannot, due to the heavyweight indebtedness of clubs to players and coaches, it is on record that more than half a billion naira is being owed players and coaches across the length and breath of Nigeria for the past eight years”
The pitfalls confronting professional footballers are global in nature, but elsewhere, there are inbuilt mechanism in form of Social Securities , such as the Footballers Pension Scheme, Health Insurance Scheme, Education and Training Scheme. etc put in place to safeguard the future of players.
According to the President ” I think the time has come for us to take our destiny in our hands by taking full responsibility “.The Union has therefore taken the initiative to establish the ” Footballers Welfare Foundation ” to amongst other objectives, advance the education of Players ( current and former), promote the good health of Players, Provide relief for players and their dependants who are in conditions of need, hardship, and distress, support and promote community participation and healthy recreation, help to facilitate and contribute to the funding of the Footballers Pension Scheme, amongst other initiatives”
Members of the Board of trustees of the FWF, headed by an our revered and astute Sports Administrator, Abba Yola Abdullahi , supported by other members which include the President of the union, Tijani Babaginda, Kanu Nwankwo, Patrick Pascal, Chikelue Ileonyosi, Mutiu Adepoju, Ann Chiejine, Austin Popo and Barrister Audu Lawal, was carefully chosen to command respect and confidence of the people, thriving on the principles of accountability, integrity and transparency.