Lagos – Following the dearth of activities in the Nigeria Amputee Football Federation (NAFF), a concerned Nigerian have cried out that the sport which empowers the physically challenged is dying.
Pius Asaba, a board member of the Amputee Football Federation for Africa (AFFA) on Tuesday expressed displeasure with the inactive state of NAFF.
Asaba told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that NAFF had not held competitions for its players as well as training courses for
coaches in the last three years.
“It is inexcusable the way amputee football is being run; it is obvious that the personnel saddled with the responsibility of running the sport are not pulling their weight.
“The situation is really affecting the footballers because they are not getting necessary encouragement required to enhance their skills
and this is gradually killing the sport in the country.
“The coaches and footballers are playing their part by engaging in regular training activities, yet at the end there is no competition to evaluate their development,’’ he said.
He said that the sport which started in Nigeria as an association in 2000 had strong presence in seven states sports associations — Lagos, Ogun, Kwara, Anambra, Abia, Imo and the Federal Capital Tterritory.
Asaba, also a former NAFF Secretary, said the players had participated in local competitions and international tournaments in Ghana, Serra-Leone, Liberia and Kenya before their problem.
“When the body was active, lots of amputee footballers were discovered and some of them were outstanding and made the national team,’’ he added.
He noted that the World Amputee Football Federation (WAFF) which is affiliated to FIFA had banned NAFF due to its inability to pay the required annual affiliation fee for the past four years.
According to him, the non-payment has attracted to Nigeria ineligibility for invitation to participate in international games.
Asaba lamented that the states had not been functioning well due to dearth of activities at the national level, adding that the footballers were depressed.
He, therefore, appealed to parents and the National Sports Commission to look into the body’s problems, assist it to pay its fours outstanding debt to WAFF and restore its monthly subvention. (NAN)