The United States based Nigerian Ex-International Footballers Association (NEIFA), led by Francis Monidafe has unfolded plans to organise its inaugural launching and fundraising event in Atlanta, Georgia on July 29, 2017.
“Comprising distinguished past Green Eagles, former Flying Eagles and Golden Eaglets stars, who are now mostly living in the United States of America, NEIFA has been around for a while now, championing better welfare for its members and promoting causes that will engender proper football development of the current crop of players playing for Nigeria at various levels”, remarked Paul Okoku, one of the prime movers of the project.
According to him, the movement is “with a mission to advocate better quality of life for former teammates in Nigeria and around the world, who have fallen on harder times”. Sports Village Square gathered that NEIFA boasts of members, ranging from varying respectable professional backgrounds and fields of human endeavour, comprising engineering, business, elite academy and university coaching.
According to a statement issued by the secretary, Nathaniel Ogedegbe, NEIFA observed that many Nigerian footballers were battling with many problems on various fronts, which sadly have not been addressed headlong by the country’s institutions, prompting the body to step in and seek ways to alleviate the burden being faced by former footballers and present ones.
Noting that since its formation some years back that members of the organisation have been able to pull resources together to support the expenses of ex-internationals, Ogedegbe said the time has come for NEIFA to reach out to the broader spectrum of footballers and ex-footballers in need of assistance.
The body noted that the coming fundraising in Atlanta will help the organisation to fully achieve its vision of ensuing that footballers do not live from hand to mouth again.
“We continue to seek support and partnership with individuals and organisations with the means and shared interest and giving back to the country by working with NEIFA and the Nigerian public”, the statement added.
NEIFA further said the coming grand launching in Atlanta, which it tagged ‘Association of Brother’s Keeper’, was to seek donations to help the body achieve its outlined goals, comprising “assisting former teammates who, following their days on the pitch, have not had opportunities for education, decent jobs or access to health care.
The press release also gave as objective of NEIFA, promotion of the development of football in Nigeria and in other parts of the world, serve as ambassadors of Nigerian football and be a voice for Nigerian footballers in around the world.