By Tony Ubani
NIGERIA Football Association, NFA, Chairman Sani Lulu Abdullahi was remorseless over the $125,000 fine wasted as compensation to New Hampshire Hotel in Johannesburg after Sports Minister Isa Bio bailed the Eagles out of the low quality hotel and relocated them to Protea Waterfront Hotel in Richards Bay.
â€œIf given the opportunity again, I will go for Hampshire Hotelâ€, Lulu said yesterday at the Teslim Balogun Stadium where he together with Mazi Amanze Uchegbulam, Taiwo Ogunjobi and a handful of NFA staff briefed World Cup-bound journalists on the dos and don’ts of FIFA for the World Cup.
â€œMy priority since I got the mandate to lead NFA is to give the best. We are not to be blamed for anything. The whole thing is from FIFA. They are the ones who normally accommodate World Cup teams. But instead, they preferred to pay $400 per player for a dayâ€™s accommodation. It is based on what we have that we decided to settle in Hampshire which of course was also approved by FIFA. FIFA is in charge of security and they donâ€™t toy with it.
But the Nigerian Government has graciously decided to go for a better accommodation in Protea followingÂ anxiety over security. We are appreciative of this gesture but if the opportunity comes again, I will go for Hampshireâ€, Lulu explained.
Lulu also said that theÂ controversial hotel was actually chosen by former Eagles coach, Amodu Shuaibu and Team Media Officer, Peterside Idah.
â€œIt was Amodu and Peterside that got the hotel. The first day that I led delegation to the hotel, I pointed out areas like the fencing and other areas which the owners of the hotel promised to amend. When the new coach, Lars Lagerback came on board, he liked the place but preferred Richardson.
Its not that the place was bad but the Government took security into consideration. But remember that FIFA is in-charge of security at the World Cup. Nigerian Government will support FIFA and it is a welcome relief to usâ€.