In a bid to ensure a very successful and complaint-free outing at next year’s World Cup, the Federal Government has revealed its grand plans for the Super Eagles.
According to Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung, the Super Eagles will be reinbursed to the tune of N3 billion to ensure the team enjoys a successful World Cup sojourn and make the country proud in Russia.
Revealing to State House correspondents after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, Dalung said bonuses will be paid upfront before the World Cup to ensure the team has a good outing at the Mundial in Russia and avoid an embarrassment over unpaid bonuses, a situation that has been the trend in previous tournaments.
Dalung informed journalists that while corporate sponsors will carry some of the financial burden of the Super Eagles at the World Cup, a substantial part of the N3bn “conservative budget” will be provided by the Federal Government.
“We have a preservationist spending plan of about N3bn however out of that N3bn, FIFA will raise about N900m; our sponsors and partners are likewise going to raise N600m. Government will moderately raise about N2bn or N2.5bn to complement,” the minister said.
He said plans were in progress to guarantee that the players get their allowance latest by March 2018.
“One of the difficulties we have been facing in sports administration is the welfare of the players and the officiating team and we plan to set a new approach to deal with the topic of welfare.
“By March, we intend to start paying the players their allowances, camping allowances upfront. That will go a long way to boost the morale of the players and their confidence too.
“The new strategy for administration in football has taken the pattern of change We will likewise guarantee that there is solidarity inside the football family.
“Unity, too, is a key factor going by some of the reports we had in the past where poor performances were attributable to lack of unity between the family, the technical team, the officials and the players. This time, unity has to be promoted.
“Finally, we will likewise guarantee that government makes funds available on time. That is the reason the budget has since been sent to the President for a unique intervention
He said the government was comfortable with the group the team belong to despite the presence of Argentina.
He stated; “We are comfortable with the team because having tested Argentina which is a highly ranked team in the group, we can say confidently that with good work, good training, good welfare for the players and team spirit, we will top that group going by the disposition of our national team
“After the groupings, Nigeria falls within Group D and we appear to be the underdog going by the ranking of the teams.
“But I think ranking is more or less a paper job, what is very important is how you will perform and I believe that we are comfortable with the teams.
“Some people have been arguing that Argentina did not present their best, but we also have some players we didn’t invite and we also intend to invite them. It is an issue that is going to be determined practically by the level of preparation of the Nigerian team. Don’t forget that the Nigerian team had enjoyed a formidable home support and they are inspired to deliver.
“So we will engage in more friendlies to try and determine our strength and areas of improvement before the final competition.”
Recall that the NFF had placed a budget on its $12 million expected accrued bonuses from FIFA.