By Olawale Ajimotokan
Officials of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) are pondering an approach to the National Assembly to fast track a supplementary budget that will enable the Super Eagles to attend the FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil in June.
NFF Secretary General, Musa Amadu, told THISDAYSPORTS Wednesday, that a request to the sports committees of the Senate and House of Representatives was one of the options the board was considering in order to source for funds for the Confederations Cup.
"The Confederations Cup is not on our items for this year and it is true that we are seriously thinking of approaching the National Assembly to convince government to release money for us as we proposed no budget for the tournament," Amadu said.
It is expected that the committees headed by Senator Adamu Gumba and Hon Godfrey Gaiya, will expeditiously hearken to the NFF request, considering the heart warming feat of the national team at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Victory in Johannesburg has placed the onus on the Eagles to represent the continent at the “Mini World Cup” which is an exclusive football party for seven other confederations champions, including the hosts, Brazil.
But it appears that Nigeria is least prepared for this challenge considering that participation in the Confederations Cup was not contemplated in the 2013 appropriation approved for NFF early in the year.
The National Assembly handed the Glasshouse a N1.8 billion envelop out which the football federation is permitted to spend N1.5 billion on the engagements involving all the national teams for its sporting activities.
The Africa Cup of Nations campaign has already taken a chunk from the approved budget.
The Super Eagles victory in South Africa where they defeated Burkina Faso to end their 19-year wait for the Africa Cup of Nations title surpassed expectation, considering Nigeria did not even qualify for the 28th edition held in Gabon/Equatorial Guinea in 2012.
Nigeria, which first attended the Confederations Cup in 1995 in Saudi Arabia, is in Group B along Tahiti, Spain and Uruguay.
The Eagles will play their group matches in Belo Horizonte, Salvador and Fortaleza from June 17- 23 and will progress to the semi final on June 26-27 considering they don’t finish lower than second in their group.