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World Cup: FG budgets N3bn for Eagles

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The Federal Government has budgeted N3bn to enable the Super Eagles to have a successful outing at the 2018 World Cup  in Russia.

Sports minister, Mr. Solomon Dalung, told  State House correspondents after  his closed door meeting  with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Tuesday that  while sponsors and partners would raise part of the money, the substantial part of the “conservative budget” would be provided by the government.

“We have a conservative budget of about N3bn but out of that,  FIFA is going to raise about N900m; our sponsors and partners are also going to bring about N600m. Government will conservatively raise about N2bn or N2.5bn to complement,” the minister said.

He said plans were underway to ensure that the players got their allowances upfront latest by March 2018.

Dalung  said,  “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 and confidence of the players.

“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 a  lack of unity in  the  football 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 added,  “We are comfortable with the team because having tested Argentina, who are  highly ranked team in the group (D), 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.”

 

Punch

 

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