By Adeola Aderounmu.
I stumbled on this piece of news 630am this thursday morning in the Nigerian Guardian:
Amputee Eagles seek funds for World Cup.
By Olalekan Okusan
THERE are indications that Nigerian amputee soccer team may miss the Amputee Soccer World Cup holding in Turkey as the N5 million needed to prosecute the trip is yet to be raised.
Efforts by the Amputee Football Association of Nigeria to source for funds are yet to yield results.
For 18-year-old Augustine Ugwu, a striker with the team, featuring at the global championship would ignite his hope of better future.
But Ugwu is worried that the fund needed by the team is yet to be raised despite efforts by the association to source for funds from corporate bodies.
President of the association, Prince FeyisetanAre told The Guardian on Monday that he was optimistic that Lagos State governor, Babatunde Fashola would come to the aid of the team as they have written to his office.
“We have written to corporate bodies like Globacom, MTN, Oceanic Bank and the Ogun State governor including our sports loving governor of Lagos, Barrister Fashola to assist the team to ensure that Nigeria’s flag is hoisted at the championship.
“The organisers have assured us that the feeding, accommodation and other things will be catered for while the N5 million is meant for the ticket, kits and allowances of the team to the championship,” said Are.
It would be recalled that the team had to travel six days by road to be part of the first African Amputee Soccer competition in Sierra Leone. Though the team arrived late for the competition and their performance against host, Sierra Leone and champion, Ghana was able to convince the organisers to be listed among the teams that will feature at the tourney in Turkey.
The team is planning to depart on November 6 for the competition starting on November 11 to 21 in Antalya, Turkey.
Brazil and Russia have won the championship more than any nation, while Brazil, who are the defending champions will be aiming to defend the title it won at home in 2005.
Other countries taking part in the competition include England, France, Ghana, Iran, Liberia, Moldova, Russia, Sierra Leone, Turkey, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
Amputee soccer was invented by Don Bennett of Seattle in Washington, United States (U,S,), while the first international amputee soccer championship was held in 1984.
Adeola says: this is a country where some idiots stole more than 10 billion US dollars each as politicians. This is the same country where a house will be renovated for 628 million dollars.
Yet, we are being told that getting 5 million naira to allow our Eagles play in a football tournament is a big problem so much that newspapers have to write about it on their front pages online.
Please can someone send a message to the IDOKO panel that they should just take 10 million out of the 628 million and give to these sportsmen. Our sportsmen and women have brought us fame around the world and they are more honourable than the useless politicians who continue to ridicule the name of Nigeria.