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World Cup: Nigeria budgets N3bn for Super Eagles

The Federal Government has budgeted N 3bn to enable the Super Eagles to have a successful outing at the 2018 World Cup 2018 which starts on June 14 in Russia.

The Minister of Youths and Sports , Mr. Solomon Dalung, disclosed this to State House correspondents after a closed-door meeting he had with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa , Abuja on Tuesday.

Dalung said while sponsors and partners would raise part of the money , the substantial part of the “ conservative budget ” would be provided by the Federal Government .

“ We have a conservative budget of about N 3bn but out of that N3 bn , FIFA is going to raise about N900m ; our sponsors and partners are also going to bring about N 600m . Government will conservatively raise about N2 bn or N 2. 5 bn to complement, ” the minister said .
He said plans were underway to ensure that the players get their allowances upfront latest by March 2018.

“ One of the challenges we have been facing in sports administration is the welfare of the players and the officiating team and we intend to set a new approach to the question 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 method of governance in football has taken the pattern of change . We will also ensure that there is unity within 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 also ensure that government makes funds available on time. That is why the budget for the competition has since been sent to the President for a special intervention so that government can make provision for some of the funds we need for training now before other things can come up , ” the minister explained .

He said the government was comfortable with the group the team belong to despite the presence of Argentina.

He said, “ 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 . ”

Dalung said the government would mobilise a strong delegation that will support the team because of its belief that sports is an about number.

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