After missing out from three editions of the Amputee Football World Cup, the Nigerian team at the weekend got a relief as the president of the Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick, announced a double donation of N2.5million and $5,000 to help get the Team Nigeria Amputee team to the World Cup in Mexico.
The NFF president and CAF First Vice president announced the donation at the finals of the Lagos SWAN Cup, where he played for the football team of Nigeria’s foremost Whatsapp group, Family United By Sports against Lagos SWAN veterans at the Legacy Pitch of the National Stadium, Lagos.
The Amputee World Cup is billed to take place in Mexico from October 25 to November 5. The Nigerian national team failed to take part of the biannual event in 2010, 2012 and 2014 due to lack of funds.
The team’s outcry of lack of funds caught the attention of Arsenal Amputee FC’s Michael Ishiguzo and the London-based player has set up an online appeal on GoFundMe to raise almost US$68,000.
Reacting to the gesture by the NFF president, assistant coach of the Nigeria Special Eagles, Gbenga Adesawon, said “we appreciate him, for giving support to the Eagles, we knew he was coming for the event (SWAN Cuup) but we did not know he was going to do this much.
Nigeria has been drawn to play Brazil, defending champion Russia and El Salvador in the preliminary phase.
President of the Nigeria football federation, Amaju Pinnick, speaking after he made the donations, reiterated the need for continued peace in the Nigerian football fraternity saying his newly re-elected board will run an all inclusive government. Pinnick restated his commitment to peace at the weekend and noted that football is bigger than any administrator and the sport at all time must come first ahead of personal or political ambitions.
Nigerian football was thrown into turmoil immediately after the 2018 FIFA World cup where lingering matters relating to football administration was taken to the regular courts for an umpteenth time.