Coming as a pleasant surprise, the Super Eagles of Nigeria have put their weight behind the Nigeria Amputee Football team with a group contribution of over N6m to support their attendance of the Mexico 201’8 Amputee Football World Cup.
Team Administrator, Enebi Achor, confirmed this just before the team filed out for the Nations Cup qualifying game against Libya which the Super Eagles won 4-0 on Sunday in Uyo.
Disclosing that the team do not want to make any public statement about the gesture, he revealed that when the situation of the amputees was brought to their attention, they all, players, technical crew and backroom staff, unanimously resolved to support.
Having qualified but failed to attend three previous editions of the World Cup the Nigeria Amputee football team risks being suspended from international competitions for several years should they fail to attend.
With no response, so far, on appeals to government and corporates for support, they recently launched a public appeal for N40m, especially to cover their flight ticket estimated at N15m for the 15 players and five officials, final camping, procurement of standard amputee sports equipment and their upkeep away in Mexico.
With contributions from Nigerians tricking into the account, President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick, raised hope for the amputees with a donation of N2.5m with additional $5000. The gesture by the Super Eagles significantly boosts hope for the amputees who are currently in camp for final preparations.
One of the Super Eagles players who pleaded for anonymity, since the team had resolved not to talk about their gesture, expressed dismay that the amputee football team is suffering such neglect in the country.
“I know about amputee football and I watch some of their clubs in Europe. The game is tasking enough for able bodied men and it is amazing how those guys live their passion with their physical condition. But it has helped many to be fully integrated in society and live a great life. I am surprised to hear that we have a national amputee and they are not getting attention. If nothing else, we should support to give hope to them and other challenged persons. Though the issue was brought up at short notice and some of us have other commitments, we cannot ignore the guys. So, we had to levy ourselves, players, technical crew and backroom staff, so that every one of us can share in the responsibility, but many of us have opted to contribute even more because it is a good cause.”
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