LAGOS – Amputee football players on Monday expressed displeasure over the lack of activities in the sport.
Some of them who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos said that the situation would not augur well for the development of the sport in the country.
The footballers said the development was discouraging to them.
The national team captain, Michael Chimobi, said that the sport was not getting the required assistance from corporate bodies and the country’s sports authorities.
“Without mincing words, amputee football is being marginalised in this country, in terms of sponsorship, moral support, encouragement from sports authorities, media patronage and training facilities.’’
Chimobi said the situation had compelled him to give full attention to his personal business.
“I have a commercial bus which somebody manages for me but am now the conductor.
“ I have to do that to keep myself busy because we had not had any competition since the beginning of the year,’’ he said.
A midfielder, Ugochukwu Obieze, said that it was sad that amputee footballers were denied opportunity of developing their talents and contributing their quota to football development in the country.
“As physically challenged footballers, I believe that we can make a stronger impact in football development in this country but nothing is collaborating with our zeal and it’s disappointing,’’ he said.
Blessing Agu, a goalkeeper also expressed disappointment on the state of amputee football in the country.
Agu said he had stopped training with the national team since the beginning of the year, due to a lack of competition to motivate the players.
“Being an amputee football keeper does not deny me the opportunity of developing my talent in para-table tennis which I now changed to because nothing is happening in amputee football,’’ he said.
Gbenga Dosumu, the assistant coach of the Nigeria Amputee Football Federation acknowledged the challenges facing amputee football.
He, however, appealed to sports enthusiasts to assist the sport.
“Amputee football is a growing sport but the problems we are going through are just too much and it is affecting the passion of the players for the game.
“The people are special people in our society, getting them involved in sport is a way of taking them off the street and a way of making them useful to themselves and the society.’’
Dosumu said it was only through support from the general public that interest of the players could be restored. (NAN)