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Fifa U17: Lulu laments LOC’s shortfalls

Fidelis Ebu
ABUJA – Apparently aware of the inefficiency and inadequacy of the local organising committee for the forthcoming Fifa Under-17 World Cup, which is less than 19 days to the cadet championship in the country, chairman local organising committee, Sani Lulu Abdullahi said the shortfalls would be addressed soon.

During a retreat over the weekend at the Media Centre, Abuja National Stadium, the first since the inception of the LOC, Sani Lulu, who also is the president Nigeria Football Federation said LOC would now embark on full organisational aspect of the championship.

Pointing out that the government has provided all that is required for smooth organisation of the cadet championship, Lulu said Fifa has expressed worry over the way preparations have been.

“Fifa has been worried, but the challenges would be overcome and we will deliver a successful games”, Sani Lulu said.
Noting that the LOC has less than three weeks in the preparation for the championship, Lulu said efforts would be made to resolve and reconcile all the grey areas to deliver a credible package in the Under-17 World Cup.

Remarkably, the world football ruling body has expressed regret over its decision to award the hosting right of the U-17 World Cup to Nigeria, while detailing Mexico to stand by following possible plans to withdrawal the championship from the country, for betray of trust.
A text message allegedly being circulated by the Secretariat of FIFA to its executive members however expressed disappointment over nonchalant attitude of the country towards the hosting right that was awarded over two years ago.

The alleged text message, which was dated 27th September 2009 in part, read “Nice. It is just the price we are paying for having been enough stupid to trust the hosting on the country like Nigeria at the first feeling. We should have moved it from the onset. But we had to be nice when they are not. We can still move it and get it right, instead of been fucked up”.

It was however understood that FIFA is aggrieved that despite all the promises made and with a few weeks to the championship certain facilities are still not yet in place citing Kano as an example where the training pitches are not yet ready till now. Though a contract for the construction of the pitches has been awarded to a German firm at a cost of N800 million.

It was however revealed that over N7billion released by the Federal Government had been squandered; with the LOC making additional request of N3billion to enable them put finishing touches to their preparation, especially paying contractors who were only paid 40% of their money so far.


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