• Saraki warns against misuse of FIFA’s grants
The Senate has joined in the call for Nigeria to ensure a befitting representation of Africa at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia following the Super Eagles’ victory at the Group B of the continent’s qualifying series.
In particular, the Senate says qualification should not be the end to the country’s ambition. The Upper Chamber of the National Assembly believes the team would do well at the World Cup if the Federal Government invested in their campaign.
Speaking on the Eagles’ victory over Zambia, Chairman, Senate Committee on Sports, Obinna Ogba said the team deserved further encouragement from the Federal Government to prepare adequately for the World Cup.
Senator Samuel Anyanwu from Imo East Senatorial district, who observed that Nigeria had a history of under-funding her players, suggested that the Federal Government should use recovered loots to fund Super Eagles.
He said: “Mr. President, distinguished colleagues, Nigeria has always been qualifying, but paucity of funds has always been an issue despite wonderful performances like these.
“I want to suggest that stolen funds recovered by the Federal Government should be used to fund the Super Eagles.”Senate President, Bukola Saraki also urged the sports ministry to ensure early release of funds for Super Eagles’ preparation for the World Cup.
Saraki, who berated the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) over mismanagement of funds released to the Federation by FIFA, regretted that issues of funding had led to unpleasant occurrences, including threats to boycott games at international competitions.
“As we all know, when you qualify for World Cup, FIFA releases a significant amount of money to NFF and over the years the money has been squandered which is about $10 billion. It is important that NFF judiciously manage the funds,” Saraki said.