The Federal Government has budgeted about N3 billion (Three billion Naira) for Super Eagles preparation and participation at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Nigeria, who qualified for their sixth World Cup was last Friday drawn in group D alongside Argentina, Iceland and Croatia for her group matches.
The Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung, who disclosed this on Tuesday after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, also noted that the budget has been sent to the President for approval to facilitate early preparations which would also include friendly matches.
“We have a budget of about N3 billion but out of that, FIFA is going to raise about N900 million, our sponsors and partners are also going to put about N600 million, government will conservatively raise about N2 billion or N2.5 billion to compliment,” Dalung said.
He informed that plans were on to start paying match allowances and other bonuses to the Super Eagles team ahead of their outing in Russia, adding that players would start receiving their allowances from March next year as a means of motivating them.
“We will ensure that government makes funds available on time. That has been why the budget for the competition has since been sent to the President for a special intervention so that government can make provision for some of the funds we need for training now before other things can come up,”Dalung said.
He said,”after the groupings, we appear to be the under dog going by the ranking of the teams. But I think ranking is more or less a paper job. What is important is how you perform. With good work, good training, good welfare for the players and team spirit, we will top that group.
“For you to successfully address your problem, you have to review the history of your problem. One of the challenges we have been having in sports administration especially competition is the welfare of the players and the officiating team and we intend to set a new approach to the question of welfare.”