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YOU CAN'T BE AUTONOMOUS, ABDULLAHI TELLS NFF

By NBF News
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The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) is, as usual, going to bank on government to provide the funds with which it will prosecute its programmes this year, if its audited account and annual report for 2010 and 2011 is anything to go by.

A copy of the document, made available to Daily Sunsports, shows that the Glass House is expecting government to provide over 80 per cent of its 2012 budget of N3.713billion. The document, which was approved in Kaduna during the federation's Annual General Assembly, has the following figures: Total income expected from seven corporate sponsors amounts to a paltry N853,600,000.00.

Government subvention is N2,333,378,980.00.
Local competitions are to fetch the federation N482,361,103.00, while FIFA will chip in N43,750,000.00. A Daily Sunsports source disclosed that the income expected from sponsors would further shrink when marketing agents of the federation collect 20 per cent of the sponsorship fees.

A break down of the revenue clearly shows that the Glass House will bank on the taxpayers money to run its affairs, a situation which the Sports Minister, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi says makes nonsense of all the talk about the federation being autonomous. Abdullahi had during a parley with stakeholders in Lagos, noted that it would be unfair for a body that runs to government to collect billions of naira to be behaving as it is an island answerable only to the world soccer governing body, FIFA.

A top official of the Glass House, who pleaded anonymity, noted that it's a shame that all the federation could generate from the avalanche of sponsorship deals it has entered into for 2012 was less than N1billion.

'It's a shame that in this era when sports, especially football is big business, all we can generate in a year from corporate sponsors is less than a billion naira.

It shows that we are not doing well on and off the field of play.

'Truth be told, we shouldn't be running to the government for funds to prosecute our activities. There is need to review the deals we entered into because the federation and by extension, the country, is being short changed,' he said.