President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Amaju Pinnick, at the weekend in Lagos donated N2.5million to assist Nigeria’s amputee football team participate in the Amputees Football World Cup scheduled to kick off in Mexico on October 24 through November.
The money is for the team’s preparations and travel expenses, and a further $5,000 contribution for the upkeep of the players during the competition.
Pinnick who was presented the team jersey shared some moments with the players. He said the gesture was to show that football is one family in which the physically challenged are an integral part.
“Even though we are under different bodies, football is football, there is no difference. The team is going to represent Nigeria, that is what is important. “It is also gladdens my heart to see how football provides a window for our brothers to continue to pursue their dreams to achieve a place in the world sports.
“It opens new opportunities and hope for all physically challenged people. I urge the team to remain focused and keep their spirit high. I plead with all Nigerians to support them as they support the Super Eagles,” stressed Pinnick who captained Family United By Sports (FUBS) team which comprised several ex internationals like Victor Ikpeba, Godwin Okpara, Peter Rufai, Friday Ekpo, Friday Elaho against a Lagos SWAN team.
The Nigeria Amputee team recently launched a public appeal for funding support to foot their bill to the World Cup following non-response to their requests for sponsorship from the Federal Ministry of Sports and Corporate Nigeria.
They had failed to attend three previous editions of the World Cup to which they qualified, for lack of funds, and may possibly be suspended from the global competition for long years should they fail to attend for the fourth.
The Nigeria amputee team requires about N40m to provide for flight tickets, pre-competition camping, procurement of standard amputee sports equipment, upkeep and other logistics for the delegation of 15 players and five officials.
Nigeria, Ghana, Angola, Kenya and Liberia are representing Africa in the 24 countries competition. While the Nigerian team is still searching for funds and yet to go into camping, their Ghanaian counterparts have been on a training tour of the UK where they played the Arsenal FC Amputee squad last Sunday.