As preparation gathers steam for the November 12 World Cup qualifier cracker against the Desert Foxes of Algeria at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo, present and former officials of the national team, the Super Eagles have been speaking on what may derail the team, especially as it concerns broken promises and outstanding allowances.
A former skipper of the national team who does not want his name in print, says it will be shocking for Nigerians to learn that Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, who is even prospecting to buy English top Premier League side Arsenal FC, is yet to redeem the $1million he promised the team after its triumph, at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations Cup. The skipper was quoted by former Super Eagles Media Officer Ben Alaiya.
He also revealed that former UBA Chairman and now Chairman of its holding company Heirs PLC, is also owing the 2013 champions $1million and has refused to pay up after the duo made promises to former President Goodluck Jonathan and having several meetings with the national team officials on how they hope to ensure that the promises made in the euphoria of the team’s victory at SA 2013 is redeemed.
“What it simply means is that these men including another airline owner Alhaji Ishaku Rabiu, are owing a dead man like Stephen Keshi several millions of naira, which no one forced them to pledge in the celebrations that attended the 2013 Nations Cup win. These are the issues that normally derail the national team when they are preparing for major qualifier and championships and we will never stop talking about them until they pay up.”
It was also revealed that the Nigeria Football Federation is owing the late Stephen Keshi and his technical team three match bonuses including the win against Sudan in Abuja (3-1), win away in Congo Republic (2-0) and the 2-2 against Bafana Bafana in Uyo. All the dues have been signed for by the officials but the NFF is yet to redeem them even before Keshi died.
“In these days of transparency and change, those in authority should ask them to pay up these bills so that the team will focus proper on the qualifications. If a Japanaese millionaire can dash our Olympic Bronze medal winning team several millions and has already redeemed same while shouldn’t our so called billionaires and the football federation meet up their obligations to the national team”, the former captain queried.