By Jacob Ajom
It is 27 days to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, the first to be held in the African continent and nations participating in footballâ€™s biggest fiesta are putting everything in place to ensure their teams succeed.
Nigeriaâ€™s preparations for the Mundial have been dotted with a lot of hiccups and inconsistencies, from the teamâ€™s training programme to accommodation. Most Nigerians do not even know
where match tickets are sold. Worse still, the popular Nigeria Football Supporters Club are in dire financial straights and may not go to South Africa with the number they would have liked to, for lack of funds.
In view of the unfolding scenario, President General of the Nigeria Football and Other Sports Supportersâ€™ Club, Rafiu Ladipo stormed Vanguard Newspapers yesterday with an appeal to help drum it home to all relevant bodies and public-spirited Nigerians to come to their aid in ensuring the club are in South Africa with at least 200 members.
Ladipo said N120Â million was required to make the plan a reality and is soliciting support from the government, Nigeria Football Association, the Presidential Task Force on South Africa 2010 project and all concerned Nigerians.
Speaking during a brief meeting with the Editor of Vanguard, Mideno Bayagbon, Ladipo said, â€œI want to take 200 well behaved members of the club to South Africa and as I speak with you we have not got anything from any quarters in terms of funds. We need help. We have written to the NFF, PTF and the National Sports Commission but up till now, we have not been told anything reassuring,â€ Ladipo said.
He pointed out that Ghana will be in South Africa with 2,600 supporters, Cote dâ€™Ivoire about 450, Cameroun with about 1,000 and so forth. They will all be there with support from their governments. We want to be in South Africa because the 2010 World Cup is a special event, and we want the Eagles to do well in the first World Cup on the African continent.â€
The Editor assured him of Vanguardâ€™s resolve to be in the forefront of creating the enabling environment for theÂ Eagles to do well in South Africa. â€œWe will do all within our means to assist the team and the supportersâ€™ club in particular to be in South Africa. We are humbled by your visit.â€