Nigeria is blessed with talents across all spheres of sports. Male, female, young and experienced athletes are all gifted in various disciplines. It is no longer news that after the able bodied athletes must have fumbled at the Olympic Games, the special athletes will excel at the Paralympic Games. Some talents took to amputee football to seek future and be useful to themselves and the country. In the process, they featured in the qualifiers for the World Cup and booked a ticket to represent Nigeria in Mexico. This is the third time Nigeria will be booking a ticket. The previous editions, the country could not raise money for the amputees to travel.
This time, if the country misses the event, the world body in charge of the sport will blackout Nigeria. The amputees need N14m for tickets and another N6m for other logistics. I am in a shock that this is a problem for a country like Nigeria. It was great that NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, gave the amputees $5,000 for the event and some other Nigerians have responded.
The competition starts on October 24 in Mexico and I urge the sports ministry to take up the issue. These amputees must be in Mexico. It is bad enough that they did not enjoy support till now. The fate of the amputees is just same as other sports as they suffer abject neglect from the government. This is indeed a sad commentary and we should work towards addressing it. God bless Nigeria.
●This column will rested for the next four weeks as I embark on my annual vacation.
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