NFF budgets N1.4 billion for Nations Cup 2013

Super Eagles of Nigeria

In 2010, the federation spent N650 million; in January 2013, it plans to spend N1.4 billion for the same thing.

Reports reaching PREMIUM TIMES indicate that the Nigeria Football Federation has budgeted about N1.4 billion for the 2013 African Cup of Nations in South Africa billed to commence on January 19; and has submitted same to the National Sports Commission.

A top official of the Federation said the money has been budgeted for pre-tournament and the main tournament.

The money is expected to be spent on the Eagles camping in Faro, Portugal, prior to the tournament, including for 2 friendly matches; transportation, feeding and allowances for 23 players and officials of the Super Eagles; as well as transportation, accommodation, and estacodes for officials of the NFF.

It is not clear how many officials of the football federation will be travelling with the team. Sports competitions, like the Nations Cup, are however seen by sports officials as a means of making money off the government, with large retinues, sometimes larger than the number of sportsmen, travelling for competitions despite having nothing concrete to do there; causing the nation a waste of millions of naira.

This budgeted figure is also significantly higher than that spent on the most recent football competitions. At the last African Cup of Nations that the Eagles attended in Angola, in 2010, the Football Federation reportedly spent N650 million. The proposed figure for the 2013 tournament is over 100 per cent more than the 2010 edition.

Also, the Football Federation spent N900 million for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, separate from the Sports Ministry’s N350 million expenditure for same.

The proposed amount by the football federation for the 2013 Nations Cup is higher than the sum spent by both the federation and the ministry together for the World Cup.

Top officials of the federation would not comment officially for the reasons for this sharp increase in expenditure for a football tournament.

The spokesperson for the NFF, Demola Olajire, confirmed to PREMIUM TIMES that the football federation has sent its budget proposal for the Nations Cup to the sports commission. Mr. Olajire, however, claimed it is “nothing compared (to the N1.4 billion).” He could not confirm the amount budgeted.

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