NFF And FIFA's Dollar Rain
By Paul Bassey
August 14, 2020
Tuesday was red letter day in the
Nigeria Football confraternity.
On Tuesday, the Nigeria Football Federation rose from a video conference meeting confirming that, at last,
FIFA's Covid-19 palliative was ready to
be distributed to the football community,
across the board. It came in the form of
a communique issued by the Federation.
The interesting part stated "...After
consultations with the leadership of the
Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports,
the Board endorsed the proposal from
the Secretariat for the lump sum of
$2,000,000.00 (Two Million American
Dollar Only) to be shared across the
various clubs and governing bodies of
the various Leagues, viz Nigeria Professional Football League, Nigeria National
League, Nigeria Women Football
League and the Nigeria Nationwide
League, as a booster for their preparation ahead of the 2020/2021 League
Season. The total sum is made up of
$1,000,000 (being FIFA's support for
restarting the football season);
$500,0000 (being FIFA's dedicated support for women's football); $300,000
(CAF's support to its Member Associations); $200,000 (NFF's support from
Attached was a comprehensive table
showing who was to earn what, all in dollars.
No sooner had the news hit the airwaves than calculators flew out. For instance, Nigeria Professional Football
clubs have been penciled to receive
$15,000,000 each. Depending on your
calculation, it translates to not more than
Back to this, later.
The president of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, Mr Sirawoo,
quickly issued a press release applauding the Nigeria Football Federation "on
the transparent manner it disbursed the
Covid-19 palliative package from FIFA,
CAF and other sponsors. Sirawoo who
expressed delight in the
N11,580,000.00 that was earmarked for
SWAN (don't ask me the rate used), said
the NFF was meticulous in ensuring that
all the stakeholders in Nigeria football
were duly captured.
"He further noted that the gesture will
in no small way enhance the cordial
working relationship between the NFF
and other stakeholders, especially
SWAN, even as he urged all beneficiaries to make judicious use of the grant..."
The SWAN president who incidentally
is the permanent secretary in the Rivers
State Ministry of Youth and Sports, went
ahead to say that he will ensure that all the members of the association in its 37 state chapters were given their due
from the amount," the release was signed by his
secretary general, Jude
Wait a minute.
Another release entitled "SWAN
President Aigbona lauds NFF's Sincerity over planned disbursement of
palliatives to all stakeholders," has surfaced. Yes, the Comrade Ahmed
Aigbona-led faction of SWAN has also
written, thanking the NFF "...for considering SWAN and other stakeholders
in its recent funds distribution."
Signed by secretary general, Comrade
Mike Oboh, this SWAN thanked "...the
sponsors, partners, CAF and FIFA and
NFF for this gesture. We are assuring
NFF of our total commitment towards
ensuring that the $30,000 allocated to
SWAN will be disbursed accordingly
among members across the chapters in
the 36 states of the federation and the
Don't laugh. Over to the NFF.
We can understand the speed with
which the SWAN drama has blown
open. Other benefactors are not far from
the same theatrics, especially when allocations are made to groups.
Incidentally, what is playing out with
SWAN is most likely to surface as NFF
decides how to disburse the $25,000
meant for supporters club. Which of
The referees, for instance, benefit
$60,000,000 for development, while
$20,000,000 goes to the Nigeria Referees Association (NRA). Referees
hard hit by the novel Covid-19 pandemic
due to the suspension of football matches
are waiting anxiously for words on how
the $20,000 will be disbursed.
Barring any negative circumstance, this
maybe the best thing to have happened
to the fund starved Nigeria football community in years. If judiciously handled,
the women football clubs, always hard
hit despite the muscular efforts of Aisha
Falode, can afford some sighs of relief.
Clubs in the National League can do a
lot with the $10,000,000 that has been
allotted them, especially the privately
State FA's can use $5,000, ditto
Coaches Association $20,000,000,
coaches development $30,000,000,
Players union for operations...etc.
Can we say the same of the Professional League sides? Far from it. Perhaps, here also, the two privately owned
clubs may have cause to smile, but definitely not the others.
The monthly wage bill of clubs like
Akwa United, Enyimba International,
Rangers International, Kano Pillars, Rivers United, Plateau United are in the excess of N15,000,000.
For one match away, hotel accommodation, transportation, medicals, bonuses, these clubs spend at least
N1,500,000. So, what does
N6,000,000.00 do to these clubs?
Nothing, absolutely nothing.
Paraphrase an English adage and it says
one eight of a bread is better than none.
See you next week, by His grace.