By Samuel Maurice
Nigeria’s domestic leagues will get an influx of $100,000 from the Nigeria Football Federation to help deal with “logistics” and the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic Amaju Pinnick has said.
NFF president Pinnick made the disclosure in a virtual chat with journalists on Monday.
Pinnick said the funds will be derived from the $500,000 world football-governing body FIFA paid out to member associations including the NFF a few weeks ago.
FIFA disbursed a total of $150 million last month to its member football associations to help handle financial troubles caused by the coronavirus.
The NFF had earlier explained that the money will be spent on “but not limited to” certain “core areas” “in line with the FIFA Forward 2.0 Program”.
The areas include management and staff salaries, men’s league, women’s league, referees’ development training, National Teams (including boys and girls’ youth teams), office operations, renovations and furnishing of Bauchi NFF/FIFA Technical Centre.
Pinnick has now shed more light on what the men’s and women’s league pyramids will get with each structure due to receive $50,000.
With this development, the top tier Nigeria Professional Football League, the second-tier Nigeria National League and the third-tier Nigeria League One will share $50,000.
On the women’s side the NWFL Premiership, the NWFL Championship and the NWFL Nationwide leagues will split $50,000 between them.
The NFF president added that an additional $50,000 could still be disbursed to the men’s and women’s leagues respectively depending on further financial commitments from FIFA.
There could also be funding from CAF after Africa’s governing body revealed that it was assessing the possibility of providing funding for member associations to help with restarting and organising domestic competitions which were halted due to the pandemic.
CAF had followed FIFA’s footsteps in disbursing $200,000 to member associations earlier than usual to help with the fall out of the coronavirus pandemic.
Pinnick also revealed that plans are being finalised to resume competitive football which has been suspended in Nigeria since 18 March due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The women’s leagues are yet to resume for a new season after the conclusion of the 2018-19 season, the NNL has been suspended since December and there is a lack of clarity about how to conclude the current NPFL campaign.
Pinnick said the situation will become clearer when the NFF and other league bodies meet with the Ministry of Sports “next week” for further consultations about restarting league football.
He, however, assured that every league tier will resume at the same time once the Ministry of Sports gives the green light for the return of football.