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NFF to withdraw from age-grade tourneys

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After a horrendous experience at the hands of the Super Falcons, the Nigeria Football Federation officials  are  allegedly unanimous in their views that  there is a need to cut down on the number of tournaments  the country will participate in from next year

President of the Nigeria Football Federation Amaju Pinnick
President of the Nigeria Football Federation Amaju Pinnick

The  Falcons launched a sit-in protest in their Abuja hotel   two days after  clinching  their eighth  African Women’s Cup of Nations title with a 1-0 win over hosts Cameroon  in Yaounde on  December 3  after the NFF failed to pay them their  win bonuses and allowances.

The team, who seized the trophy they won in the Central African country, were paid  their entitlements following the intervention of the Presidency and the National Assembly.

The  national football body had hinted that it  would review its programme  with regard to  participation  in championships  next year due to  inadequate allocation to the federation by the sports ministry. But reports on Thursday said the majority of the members  are backing the idea.

Our correspondent learnt the Golden Eaglets might be barred from taking part in the qualifiers for the 2019 FIFA Under-17 World Cup.

It was learnt the NFF  also had plans to withdraw  the Flamingoes from the 2018 FIFA  Women’s Under-17  World Cup and the Falconets from  the 2018 FIFA Women’s Under-20 World Cup.

Sources claim the NFF president Amaju Pinnick  is not happy about the  negative comments about  the federation  in the  media and has decided  to take action by ensuring that the country participates in the competitions the body can fund.

According to inside sources, Pinnick was able to convince other members of the federation to support the move if the financial position of the body fails to improve next year.

Spokesman for the NFF Ademola Olajire, who confirmed the development, however said the federation would only review its international  programmes if it continues to grapple with the problem of raising enough money for tournaments  next year.

“The president  mentioned it in an interview  that it is true that we  have to review the number of competitions we participate in,” Olajire said.

“The truth is that how many countries participate in as many championships  as we do?

“He (Pinnick) said, for instance, the Under-17 boys  had nothing to prove again after winning the tournament five times.

“For the Under-17 boys and girls, he feels if things done improve quickly, we have to look the other way in the categories, but it’s not automatic that we withdraw.”

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