Former Vice President and PDP candidate for the 2019 presidential election, Atiku Abubakar has donated N10 million as financial support for Nigeria’s Amputee Football Team to the 2018 World Cup.
The donation which was made on behalf of the PDP presidential candidate by the Atiku Care Foundation is to assist the team to represent Nigeria at the 2018 Amputee Football World Cup scheduled to hold in Mexico from October 24, 2018 to November 14, 2018.
Atiku’s intervention followed appeals by Nigeria Amputee Football Federation (NAFF) and National Disability Empowerment Forum (NDEF) that the team needed to bridge a funding gap which was threatening the chances of Nigeria to participate at the global event.
In a letter to Atiku signed by Fred Edoreh, its World Cup Project Coordinator, NAFF said that for three consecutive times the team had through self-help attended Africa Amputee Football Nations Cup but that after qualifying for the global series, the team could not make the trip because of paucity of funds.
NAFF further explained that if the team failed to show up at the 2018 world cup, which would be the fourth time, the Nigerian side would be suspended from participating in all international competitions.
The letter said that members of the team would be disillusioned if such situation was allowed to be their fate.“It will close the windows of opportunities which the sport offers for the engagement of physically challenged persons in Nigeria,’’ the letter said.
NAFF which said that its team of 15 players and five officials needed a total of N27 million to defray the costs for return tickets, camping, procurement of equipment, upkeep and other logistics requirements disclosed that it had already raised N10 million from public appeal for funding and donation from the Super Eagles.
NAFF said that although it had written letters to relevant government agencies and corporate organizations seeking for their financial support, no response has been received.
Also making a case for the team, Chairman of NDEF, Dr. Chris Nwaonoro appealed to Atiku to extend the magnanimity for which he is known with physically challenged people to the National Amputee Football Team.
He said that Atiku’s intervention would serve as a morale booster which has the potential of motivating the chances of the team to come tops at the championship.