FIFA COVID-19 Palliative: Professional Footballers Allege NFF Of Diversion....Give 7-Day Ultimatum - EDU-BIZNEWS


Sunday, October 4, 2020

FIFA COVID-19 Palliative: Professional Footballers Allege NFF Of Diversion....Give 7-Day Ultimatum

      The National Association of Nigeria Footballers (NANF) has accused Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) of diverting the COVID-19 palliative released by the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) to various affiliated associations.

The association is desturbed about  continous delay by NFF in the payment of the relief packages to the beneficiaries who are mostly players and officials of football clubs 

The world football governing body had between May and June paid $2million to NFF for beneficiaries as part of palliative to football clubs whose players and officials could not engage in sporting activities because of the ban placed on it arising from the Coronavirus pandemic during the season.

But NANF President, Harrison Jalla in a statement obtained by EDU-BIZ NEWS alleged that the palliative might have been diverted for other use, asking the Amaju Pinnick led NFF board to ensure payment of the relief packages to beneficiaries within seven working days.

The professional football clubs and their players who are groaning over non-payment of the relief packages,have threatened to take a more drastic measures, if NFF fails to act within the period of ultimatum .

According to the association of footballers ," there are very strong indications that the FIFA COVID 19 palliative paid to the NFF between the month of May and June 2020 may  have been allegedly diverted.

They further accused the Nigeria Football Federation(NFF) of covering up for the diversion by  applying for $2m interest free loan from FIFA to replace the alleged diverted FIFA palliative funds.

 The association revealed that" FIFA recently approved non interest loans of a maximum of $5m for its affiliate members in which terms and conditions apply."

The Footballers recalled that" FIFA in a circular number 1715 to affiliate members dated 24th April 2020 approved Immediate relief to its  members, FIFA immediately followed this circular up by remitting $2m to the Nigeria Football Federation  early in the month of May and June 2020 in two tranches." 

They added that "FIFA in its circular was very clear and unambiguous that "" Operational cost entitlement for 2019 and 2020 should be used to mitigate the Financial impact of COVID -19 on Football in member Associations.''' 

 NANF claimed that" In an arranged internal memo dated 15-5-2020 from the General secretary of the NFF to NFF president Amaju Pinnick the FIFA 24th April 2020 circular instruction to the NFF was turned on its head and brazenly violated."

The association explained that "The General secretary proposed to Amaju Pinnick to approve the Disbursement of $1.5m FIFA COVID -19 palliative fund against the instruction of FIFA. Dr Sanusi made very ridiculous proposal to the extent of drawing and paying NFF staff salaries in advance until December 2020. "

The Footballers described as questionable, the alleged action of NFF for diversion of the fund at the height of COVID-19 when there was no football activities in Nigeria to warrant such disbursement.

"The internal memo titled "" REQUEST FOR PERMISSION TO UTILISE THE FIFA GRANT TO NFF"" listed 15 Items for which the money would be utilized this was at the height of COVD 19 Pandemic when there is no football activity in Nigeria  even as we speak today there is still no football activity in Nigeria to warrant such Disbursement. "
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