I Was Distressed How NFF Plan To Share FIFA Grant – Bassey
By Amaechi Agbo
Chairman, Akwa United FC, Paul Bassey has said that he was distressed when he read how the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF was going to share the $500, 000 FIFA grants, Bestchoicesports.com.ng reports
The former Special Assistant to Akwa Ibom State governor also described as ‘funny’ the decision of the NFF to donate coronavirus Personal Protective Equipment to the Lagos State government to fight the ravaging COVID-19 in the state.
Speaking on a monitored Channel TV sports programme Wednesday, Mr Bassey noted that the clubs in the Nigeria Professional Footbal League, NPFL need help.
He noted that the Akwa United FC recently spent N3.5 million to play and away match in Maiduguri and wondered how many clubs can afford such amount in the league given the current situation in the country.
“On Tuesday, (last week) what I saw was very funny. I saw pictures of NFF going to donate (face) masks and other things to Lagos State government. And I said, ‘Ahah, you should have sent it to me.’ Then I heard about offices in Bauchi management and staff salaries and all that. Is it the $500, 000, then forget it.
“Let me tell you a very terrible thing that happened to me. Last year we were to play a match in Maiduguri, my Commissioner (for sports) called me and said ‘Paul how are you going to Maiduguri?’ and I said by road. He said ‘don’t let his Excellency hear this. You cannot go to Maiduguri by road.’ We are to buy tickets from Uyo-Abuja-Maidugri and back flight. For us to execute that, we spent close to N3.5 million.
“An average flight in the league, you spent about N2 million naira. So what are we saying? We have two clubs in the NPFL and maybe the other leagues which are not going on now for whatever; when I saw a list on how that money was going to be spent, pay management and staff salary, furnish an office in Bauchi and so on; I am not expecting anything. It will not amount to anything. We really need help now. We need help. That is why sometimes I am happy that state governments are sponsoring clubs because individuals from what is going on, cannot.
“There is one club in my state that decided to cancel the contract of all players because they cannot pay. You cannot just keep players two-three months, they are not playing, they are not doing anything and you have to pay them salaries. It can only happen in government owned clubs because for us, April salary has been paid, we are not owing the players. But how long can we continue to do that?
“So when I heard that yesterday, (Tuesday) I was very, very sad. That the NFF has decided what to do with the money to give it to the women league, the national teams and so on. By the time it gets down to the NPFL, you just send me two million naira, for what? That is my take about that. I was very distressed when I heard the news,” he concluded.