The general secretary of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Muhammed Sanusi, has debunked reports published in an online medium that it received the sum of $1.5million promised by world football governing body, FIFA to all its member- associations, as palliative for the novel coronavirus pandemic (COVID19), which ravaged the world this year.
“The FIFA council approved the sum of $1.5million for each of its member-associations as a palliative for the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) around the month of July 2020. Yet, the writer said the money was paid in May 2020.
The report is outright falsehood and yet another pathetic display of ignorance on the part of the writer. The NFF has only received the $500,000 meant for the women’s game and this fact is very easy to cross-check. A simple mail to FIFA would have cleared this issue”.
“FIFA COVID-19 palliative is totally different from operational cost (annual grant) money and is also not the same thing as FIFA forward money. However, the writer failed to establish the critical difference between FIFA annual grant and FIFA COVID-19 palliative. It’s a case of criminal defamation that the NFF will not take lightly,” NFF general- secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi said yesterday.
Sanusi added that the NFF has over the years sustained the habit of sending details of all monies received (even sponsorship funds) to the federal ministry of Youth and Sports Development and that further checks can be made at that establishment.
“FIFA promised to send an initial tranche of $1million ($500,000 for the men’s game and $500,000 for the women’s game) and another payment of $500, 000 in January 2021. Of the first tranche, we’ve only received the sum of $500,000 for the women’s game, while waiting for the other $500,000. I want to add that we are also yet to receive the $500,000 palliative promised by the continental governing body, CAF. We are waiting for these monies so that we can distribute as we have set out in the template approved by the NFF executive committee. We will also inform the ministry of Youth and Sports Development once the monies come”.
“While the NFF will continue to appreciate the noble work of credible journalists, who ask questions for the sake of probity and transparency and for the good of the game, we condemn, in the strongest terms, the deleterious and despicable activities of mudslingers”.