*Our home, experience with other teams will make us excel
By Olayinka Elebute and Oluwole Francis
Chairman of Akwa United FC of Uyo, Paul Bassey, has called on the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to come to the assistance of the four Nigerian teams playing on the continent.
Bassey spoke in a chat with journalists in Abuja when the four teams playing on the continent met with the Federation to prepare them for the task ahead on the continent.
I was just told that the N50 million given to MFM FC of Lagos can only make them play on a home and away basis. That’s how expensive playing on the continent is. We are told to go back home and tell our sponsors the economic importance of playing at that stage, the only thing that gives me joy is that Akwa United has been able to keep about 85% of our players. We just did some little adjustments and few recruitment for the season.”
“I know my team will give a good account on the Continent, I was once a consultant for Kwara United FC of Ilorin, Sunshine Stars FC of Akure, Bayelsa United FC of Yenagoa and Enyimba of Aba at a point. So, I know the challenges of playing CAF Confederation Cup. My experience with those teams will be vital for me to work with.
“Apart from the enlightenment given to us by the Federation, I think they should also give us some financial encouragement, the NFF will give us a leader of delegation and a secretariat staff to travel with. The team and the leader of delegation will travel in Business Class you know what that means for us in these economic situation. So, you now know why they should come consider giving teams financial assistance. Once a club qualifies to represent the country, the team will be flying the flag of Nigeria and that’s why I am asking them to always think about that.
“For Akwa United our stadium facility is a FIFA approved stadium, so we will play in front of our fans but, Enyimba might play away in Calabar, Plateau United may play outside their state but we are lucky our stadium is an approved facility by football governing body FIFA. So, we will enjoy support of our fans and you know what it means to play at home, a big motivation for your team.