President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, has disclosed that the body is still trying to raise more funds to ensure the Super Eagles’ success at the Nations Cup and World Cup qualifiers when hostilities begins.
Pinnick said despite the Federation’s decision last week to disburse the FIFA, CAF and other sponsors’ COVID-19 relief funds to its associates, the Federation still needed money for the qualifiers, which fall under a different category in its engagements.
According to Pinnick, the prevailing economic situation of the country occasioned by the global COVID-19 pandemic, the financial logistics involved in the movement of Super Eagles’ players from venue to venue and organisation of tune up matches now attract higher amount of money due to the rise in travelling logistics and other services.
He said: “You should realise that the economy is not friendly now because of this COVID-19 Pandemic and the amount we need for travelling and other logistics have increased drastically.
“The Federation has to spend more money for the Eagles qualifiers. That is why we are still rallying round for more funds because money allocated to the Eagles from the FIFA grants will not be enough for the qualifiers,” he said.
Pinnick noted that it would be difficult for the government to fund the Eagles’ preparations for the qualifiers now because of the heavy financial burden placed on it by the fight against the pandemic.
Pinnick also added that NFF is working towards contracting PriceWaterHouseCoopers International Limited (PWC) to manage the disbursement of the FIFA, CAF and other sponsors’ COVID-19 relief funds the NFF announced last week to ensure fairness and accountability in the exercise.
“PWC said they will get back to the board soon. As our auditors, we want them to disburse the relief funds for accountability sake.
“Some of the cash, like the sponsors money, is already available… the NFF will receive some other funds later. The money that will be given to national teams will cut across the Super Eagles, Super Falcons, Super Sand Eagles, U-20 and other male and women cadet teams.
“The NFF also recognises all supporters clubs and sports writers in the COVID-19 palliative formula because of the bodies’ efforts to raise the standard of football in the country,” he said.
Pinnick, who acknowledged that he will contest for the CAF presidency if given the opportunity, added, however, “such ambition will only be actualised after consultations with my wife, immediate family members, NFF members and friends. If it is not possible, I will support any Nigerian interested in the seat.
“After this tenure as NFF President, I will not contest again even though I have the right to do so. My target is to face my other businesses after my tenure as NFF President”.