By George Aluo
Former board member of Nigeria Football Association (NFA) Fan Ndubuoke has urged the presidency not to put for sale one of aircrafts in its fleet, insisting that rather than sell the aircraft , it should be donated to the Super Eagles.
It would be noted that the presidency last week disclosed that she is planning to sell two of the jets in the presidential fleet since they are surplus to requirement.
Ndubuoke a veteran sports journalist in an exclusive chat with Saturday Sunsports said Aso Rock would have succeeded in solving one of the biggest problems facing not just the NFF but other sports federations if it donates the aircraft it plans to sell to the Super Eagles.
Hear him: “I m appealing to President Buhari not to sell one of the two jets the presidency is planning to sell. He should donate it to the Super Eagles. If that happens the NFF would have a big relief. The soccer federation has been coughing out thousands of dollars to charter aircraft to fly our national teams to match venues. If the presidency donates one of the air planes in her fleet to the NFF the transportation problem of the Eagles would have been solved. The NFF would be saving a lot of money and as we all know once the issue of transportation to and from match venues is taken care of, the financial burden of NFF would reduce. The same aircraft would also be deployed to ferry other Nigerian teams to international competitions.”
Ndubuoke who was on cloud nine after Nigeria’s 2-1 victory over Zambia last weekend in Ndola was however quick in warning German tactician Gernot Rohr to do something about Super Eagles defense line before the November 12 home game against Algeria.
“The Super Eagles played a good game against Zambia, but the team’s defense is still shaky. Kenneth Omeruo and Winnifred Ndidi were not at their best and Elderson Echiejile was also too slow. If we face Algeria without working on the defense it could be a disaster. The fact that the Algerians fired their coach after the home draw against Cameroon shows that they are coming to Nigeria fully prepared to fight to the finish. Rohr must ensure he works on the defensive lapses that saw Zambia rattling us in the second half of the game in Ndola.”
Ndubuoke while commending Rohr for building his attack around the duo of Kelechi Iheanacho and Alex Iwobi said he sees the Super Eagles qualifying for the Russia 2018 World Cup. He however stated that stakeholders must be on the same page for Nigeria to get result and land in Russia.
“Rohr has started well. I m happy he started both Iheanacho and Iwobi against Zambia. What the coach and NFF need now is the support of everybody for us to land in Russia. The coach should be paid his salaries as at when due. The players need to be motivated by being paid their bonuses. The government must not wait until the last minute before releasing money for the prosecution of the matches,” Ndubuoke said.
Ndubuoke who as chairman of Heartland FC of Owerri led the club to break her 19- year trophy jinx, winning the nation’s Federation Cup back to back said he was not surprised with the relegation of the club in the just concluded NPFL.
“Honestly, the relegation of the club didn’t come to me as a surprise. The question to ask is what has not been relegated in Imo sports. Heartland Flickers hockey team which once ruled Africa has been relegated. Grasshoppers handball club has since been relegated to a shadow of her old self, so Heartland FC going on relegation shouldn’t come to anybody as a surprise. Imo sports is simply dead.”