LONDON 2012: NFF CHASES OLYMPIC TICKET WITH N500M
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has vowed to do everything possible to ensure that Dream Team V qualifies for the London 2012 Olympic soccer event, even as it has budgeted N500 million to host the eight nation Olympic qualifier billed for December.
The NFF, Daily Sunsports gathered, wants to host the event despite the princely sum it needs to do so, since it appears to be the only way to guarantee that Nigeria qualifies, given the poor away record of the Austin Eguavoen tutored side.
Our source disclosed that the federation has secured the approval of National Sports Commission (NSC) to bid for the hosting right, just as Edo State government has shown interest in Benin being one of the centres to be used.
'The NFF has the backing of the Sports Commission in the bid project, but is definitely not going to get a kobo from the latter. So, it is left for the soccer federation to play its politics well in CAF and to source for the needed funds. Everybody at the Glass House is worried that Nigeria won't make it to the Olympics if we don't host. The thinking of NFF right now is to do everything to pick the ticket after which a decision would be taken on whether to retain Eguavoen as the coach or get another coach to lead the team to London.'
On the N500 million needed to host the event, should CAF grant the country the hosting right, our source said the NFF would be banking on Edo State government and any other state that shows interest in its state capital being one of the centres alongside Benin that has been the home of the Dream Team.
'NFF plans to use two centres- Benin and one other venue. It is the hope of the federation that Edo and one other state will bankroll the event. In fact, the NFF may approach Lagos State government to be part of the show as well as some corporate bodies.' It is recalled that Nigeria a fortnight ago failed to qualify for the Maputo 2011 All Africa Games soccer event after Dream Team V fell to Ghana's Black Meteors by 0-2 in Kumasi. Nigeria went into the Kumasi game with a 3-1 first leg advantage.