NANPF Sets Up Players Welfare Trust Fund

NANPF Sets Up Players Welfare Trust Fund

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By Akeem Busari
Following the unfortunate spate of sicknesses and other socio-economic challenges bedeviling
several ex-Nigeria footballers and the empathy that followed, the National Association of Professional Footballers, NANPF led by former Nigeria international, Tijani Babangida, MON, has revealed plans by the union to set up a ‘Footballers Welfare Trust Fund (FWTF).
According a statement from the players union secretariat, the new verve to set up the trust fund is a follow up of the initial attempt made by the players union, to launch the ” Players Welfare and Rehabilitation Fund” precisely on December 12, 2012 at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja.
The statement signed by the former Ajax of Amsterdam star, read in parts, ” Let me harp on the
stark reality facing the union’s inability to address the multiple health challenges and other socio- economic conditions of both current and ex players in Nigeria.
” As a result of the union’s inability to access basic statutory funding options from the system in addressing fundamental welfare challenges of players and their dependants inline with global football practice, has mitigated against some of the union’s desires to improve the conditions of its members.

Former Super Eagles Captain Christian Chukwu has been in Hospital in London for treatment after he became sick few months ago


” Its no longer news that we have scores of players, both current and former facing real hardship and unable to meet their basic needs.
A great number of former players have died from one form of sickness or another, and in most cases it is as result of their inability to access medical facility due to lack of fund. “
It went on to acknowledge that some of our players have lived recklessly, without bothering and planning for their future. Adding that it is also true that those who may wish to plan cannot not also access the requisite fund to do so, as a result of the huge indebtedness of clubs to players and coaches.
It continued, ” It is also on record that more than half a billion naira is being owed Nigerian players and coaches for the past eight years on only cases that were officially reported to the arbitration committee of the NFF.
” The pitfalls facing professional footballers are global in nature. But elsewhere, there are inbuilt mechanism of social security programmes such as Footballers Pension Scheme, Health Insurance Scheme, Education and Training Scheme, put in place to safeguard the future of players.
The Union has therefore taken the initiative to launch the ” Footballers Welfare Trust Fund” to amongst other objectives, advance the education of Players ( current and former), promote the good health of players, provide relief for players and their dependants who are in conditions of need, hardship, and distress. We would also support and promote community participation and healthy recreation and help to facilitate and contribute to the funding of the Footballers Pension Scheme and others.
” Under my leadership, a relaunch of the Footballers Welfare Trust Fund remain a key factor. The NANPF of today, can boast of a sizeable number of high profile Nigeria footballers both within and outside of Nigeria who are very willing to serve and support the union, ” the former pacy winger enthused.
It added that the union will use the collective images of branded ex international footballers and current professional footballers in the league, to effectively facilitate and drive the process of relaunching the Footballers Welfare Trust Fund, which would be built on the solid foundation of a Board of Trustees that will command respect and confidence of the people based on accountability, integrity and transparency.

The following football stakeholders have been contacted and equally agreed to serve as members of trustees of the FWTF. And they include ; Abba Abdullahi Yola , (chairman,) Tijani Babaginda, (vice chairman), Chikelue Ilienyosi, (reps of NFF president), Kanu Nwankwo (South East ), Mutiu Adepoju (South West ), Abba Mukthar (North West), Patrick Pascal (North East ), Austin Popo ( secretary, South – South ) and Abdul Lawal (legal adviser, North Central ).
The body will be officially unveiled to the media in Abuja, on 30th of July 2019 by 12 noon.

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