Nigeria’s youth football setup could be altered fundamentally as the Nigeria Football Federation explores measures to navigate through the financial fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, president of the NFF Amaju Pinnick has revealed.
In a Zoom meeting with journalists on Monday, Pinnick said several options are being contemplated to help the NFF save costs in light of the federation’s shrinking finances.
With NFF finances having taken a hit due to the effect of the pandemic on sponsors such as AITEO and Nigeria Breweries, Pinnick said the Futsal and Beach Soccer teams could be scrapped.
Additionally, the NFF president said a proposal to the Executive Committee reduce the outlay on youth national teams or the outright scrapping of the teams is being considered to save costs.
The NFF president had spoken previously about the need for the federation to take “very, very difficult and impossible decisions” which could affect certain domestic competitions and national teams after the coronavirus lockdown is lifted.
Pinnick said there is neither an economic or sporting argument to expend scarce resources on the Beach Soccer team only for “them to go and lose 10-0” in international competitions.
Regarding the youth national teams, Pinnick said to ensure the teams which comprises the U15, U17 and U20 male and female teams have a future, the NFF will have to stop paying camp allowances and winning bonuses to the players.
Instead, the players will be allowed to share “one hundred per cent” of all prize money generated from their performances in international competitions.
Pinnick said all the proposed measures will have to be passed by the Executive Committee of the NFF and approved by the Sports Ministry.