NFF seeks intervention fund for football, as Reps pass
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has urged the House of Representatives Committee on Sports to use its office to capture the shortfall in the budget envelope approved for the federation by the Federal Government on the 2015 sports intervention fund.
The Federal Government had during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil approved the release of $3. 6 million from the Sports Intervention Fund to settle the demands of the Super Eagles, who threatened to boycott their matches during the Mundial if the NFF failed to pay them their participation fee as approved by FIFA.
Speaking on Tuesday during the federation’s 2015 budget proposal defence at the House of Representatives, NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, noted that the federation would have a shortfall of N2.8 billion from the N5 billion it proposed for the year since the Federal Government only approved N1.5 billion for the NFF. He added that the federation would source over N950 million from its sponsors.
Pinnick also disclosed that the federation received the sum of N12.1 billion for the 2014 season, stressing it included all the grants NFF received from both FIFA and CAF.
After listening to Pinnick’s explanations, the House of Representatives Committee approved the NFF 2015 budget proposal of N3.17 billion.
Chairman of the House Committee, Godfrey Ali-Gaiya noted at the defence that there was no need to refund the money, which President Goodluck Jonathan approved for the national team when the Super Eagles’ players threatened to boycott their World Cup second round encounter against France.
“The $3.6 million dollars, which the Federal Government gave to the Super Eagles at the last World Cup was an interventionist fund, which was part of the appropriation of the 2014, which also makes it a law. Since it was budgeted in the Service Wide Vote (SWV) of the year, there is no way to refund it.
“Again, you have complained of shortage of fund for your activities of the year, it does not make sense refunding the money and only to run back tomorrow for another assistance.”
Earlier, Pinnick in his presentation had told the lawmakers that when the FIFA World Cup grant of $8.4 million dollars was received, the board decided to set the $3.6 million dollars aside for the purpose of returning it to the government.
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