â€¢ NFF reacts, writes to PTF
By Onochie Anibeze
The Federal Government Monday night hosted the Green Eagles for qualifying for the World Cup in South Africa next year.
They rewarded them with gifts. Coach Shaibu AmoduÂ got a jeep and N1m in cash. His assistants, Daniel Amokachi, Alloy Agu and Fatai Amoo, got half a million naira each.
The players were given gold wrist watches and were highly commended for their feat.
The Federal Government took the 2010 World Cup so serious that it set up a Presidential Task Force on it when it appeared Nigeria might not qualify for the World Cup that will be staged in Africa for the first time.
The Task Force pooled resources together with the Football Federation and ensured Nigeria qualified. And Monday night the government said a thank-you that was meant to promote unity and ginger the team into greater action at the Angola Nations Cup and the World Cup.
But those who submitted the list omitted some names and this has embittered some members of the team. And as they leave for Durban for training today their morale is low.
â€œIt is not about money or any material thing, it is about recognition and if this has started now it may continue until it creates big confusion that may be costly,â€ one of the aggrieved officials said yesterday.Team doctor, the physiotherapist, the team coordinator, the media coordinator, the curator and even the secretary of the team were excluded from list.
â€œFootball is a team work and if they do not realise this, it is unfortunate. Since they have left me out, let them not call me for any paper work,â€ one of them said. He was expected to make some contacts to some players.
Another gave insight to why they are really agitated.
â€œSo if we go to Angola now and lift the cup and houses are the rewards, we will be left out? Thatâ€™s why my emphasis is on recognition and not anything material. It also makes you have a sense of belonging. Right now, those left out feel that they are not part of the team. It does not augur well for the team going for the Nations Cup. Spirit should be high and everybody unitedâ€. A sports journalist put her reaction this way:
â€œWhat they did was wrong. The head coach should ensure such actions do not deplete his team. How could they have left out the team doctor, physiotherapist or the media coordinator who even works for Supersport and whose job suffers anytime he is out on national assignment?
The Football Federation said last night that hopes for those left out were not lost as they were writing a letter to the PTF in respect of that. Demola Olajire, their spokesman, said this.