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Nigerian Football

NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT MOBILIZES NON-STATE RESOURCES FOR SUPER EAGLES’ WORLD CUP CAMPAIGN

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The Federal government has thrown its weight behind the mobilization of non- state resources for the Super Eagles’ participation at the 2018 FIFA World Cup scheduled for Russia from 14th June to 15th July.

This was made known at a Fund Raising Gala night for the Super Eagles held at the Banquet Hall, State House at the weekend.

In a welcome address, the Minister of Youth and Sports Barrister Solomon Dalung noted that preparation and participation of national teams in regional and international sports competitions had sometimes been marred by funds constraints.

The minister said that challenges of funding had limited the preparation, welfare and motivation of sports men and women, resulting in poor performance and under-achievement, hence the need to seek alternative funding sources for the teams.

“We are prepared to change this unsatisfactory outcome with presidential support and guidance, as well as stakeholders’ engagement and buy-in.

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“Knowing very well that government alone cannot shoulder all sports expenses, we have decided to strengthen our collaborations with the private sector to mobilize non-state resources.

“We are equally focused on ensuring that funds mobilized are judiciously used to facilitate and boost the participation of the Super Eagles in the tournament. We are determined to operate in line with our Change Agenda and Mr. President’s anti-corruption posture.”

Earlier in his address, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Youth and Sports Olusade Adesola reiterated government’s promise to ensure judicious use of funds generated.

“In time past, fears had been expressed that donations received were not utilized for the purposes it was meant for. This has had a negative effect on the willingness of corporate bodies to support worthy causes such as this.

“May I use this opportunity to reassure Your Excellences and patriotic Nigerians, that in line with this administration’s drive for accountability, the funds realized would be judiciously utilized solely for the purpose of supporting the Super Eagles to a glorious outing at the 2018 FIFA World Cup”.

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A budget for the Super Eagles preparations and participation at the Russia FIFA World Cup Final is estimated at N3 billion out of which N1.5 billion is expected from Government, and the balance of N1.5billion is proposed to be generated through fund-raising efforts.

Adesola therefore enjoined well-meaning individuals, businessmen and women, and the corporate sector to boost government’s contributions towards preparation and participation at the tournament by contributing generously towards the project.

Among the donors at the event are AITEO who gave N50m, businessman and Chairman of Atlas Oranto Petroleum Chief Arthur Eze donated N25m while Abia and Kano states announced N5m respectively. Lagos and Kebbi states including Total Nigeria did not publicly disclose their donations.

Three former members of the Super Eagles team Samson Siasia, Waidi Akanni and Augustine Eguavoen in conjunction with the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Nigeria Football Federation are spearheading the fundraise.

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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Nigerian Football

Nigeria’s broadcast icon, Danladi Bako hails NFF on choice of Finidi George

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Nigerian broadcasting icon, Dr. Nasir Danladi Bako has praised the Nigeria Football Federation for settling for former international and ex-Enyimba FC strategist Finidi George as Head Coach of the Super Eagles.

The Kogunan Sakwatto, 66, who created a plethora of famous TV programmes including Morning RideMastersports and Second Chance, among others, and served as Special Adviser to a number of Sports Ministers many years ago, insisted the NFF leadership struck a bull’s eye with the appointment of the two-time FIFA World Cup star, stating that George oozes class and character, and an iron determination to succeed despite his public carapace of a quiet person.

“Finidi George has that cultured, disciplined mien and personality that makes you want to trust him with a big project. He understands the meaning of constituted authority and right from his playing days, has always displayed the attribute of a team player. He has always had that calm, collected nature even in the face of pressure or danger.

“Above all, he is not someone who thinks he is doing the nation a favour. He is grateful for the opportunity and I believe that he has all it takes to succeed. I am calling on the Federal Ministry of Sports Development, the NFF and Nigerians as a whole to support him to take the Super Eagles to brand-new heights.”

Bako, who holds a doctorate degree in development communication from the Ahmadu Bello University and was Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission between 1999 and 2002, says all hands must now be on deck to ensure victories in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches against South Africa and Benin Republic on 7 June and 11 June respectively.

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“No doubt, the NFF got this one appointment right. Very much on point. Now, they should endeavour to give George all the support he needs to succeed in his task of qualifying Nigeria for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.”

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Nigerian Football

Nigeria’s sports minister, Enoh applauds NFF for ‘buying local material’

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Sports Minister Enoh (left) and NFF President Gusau (right) unveil Finidi.

Nigeria’s Minister of Sports Development, John Owan Enoh on Monday praised the leadership of Nigeria Football Federation for settling for an indigenous Head Coach for the Super Eagles, despite the plethora of foreign tacticians who applied for the job.

Enoh, who spoke at the unveiling ceremony of the Eagles’ new substantive Head Coach, Finidi George at the MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, charged the NFF to give the former winger all the support to succeed, while also soliciting the support of all Nigerians for the new helmsman.

“As a student of the University of Calabar in those days, I used to go to the UJ Esuene Stadium to watch Calabar Rovers, which included Finidi George. I am excited to see him seated here as the new Head Coach of the Super Eagles.”

President of NFF,  Ibrahim Musa Gusau exuded delight with the ‘new chapter’ the Federation is opening about the Nigeria game, saying the football-governing body is determined to fully support George and his assistants to lead the Super Eagles to new heights.

“When we returned from the Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivoire, we began the search for a new Head Coach. There was a plethora of foreign applicants, far more than the indigenous applicants. However, we undertook a thorough process that has produced an indigenous Coach and we are very happy about that. Finidi George was part of the technical crew that came close to winning the AFCON, and we have faith in him that he will lead the team to the title next time.  

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“Our objective now is to ensure the enthronement of excellence at all levels of the National Teams.”

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Nigerian Football

No more bench-warmers in the Super Eagles, says Finidi George

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New man on the managerial saddle of the Super Eagles, Finidi George has stated that  he will invite for international assignments, only players who feature regularly at their clubs either in Nigeria or in the diaspora, and promised that the Super Eagles will remain even more competitive in the years ahead.

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