Africa’s most populous nation and one of it’s richest, Nigeria, say they have no money to fly their senior national team to Zambia for a world cup qualifier.
The Super Eagles are set to play Zambia in the first game of the group stage of 2018 World Cup qualifying on October 9, but a Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) official says they simply have no money to fly the squad out for the game.
“As we speak, we don’t have any kobo in our purse,” an unnamed member of the NFF told the country’s Guardian newspaper.
“The charges for the Airline alone is $200,000 for a 140-seater plane, and it will be on ground with the team for two days,” the spokesman added. “We need between $6,000 and $10,000 for flight ticket(s) to bring in the players (from Europe).”
This mirrors an almost identical situation that recently plagued the Black Stars, when Andre Ayew and co had to foot some of the bills for their teamates to arrive for a dead rubber Afcon qualifier. But this is more serious as its a world cup qualifier – and like Ghana’s, it’s because the Government is unwilling to foot the bill.
“The federal government still has to play its part, because this is the beginning of our campaign for the 2018 World Cup qualifying ticket. If we must get it right, every hand must be on deck,” the official added.