31 May 2007

Nigeria: Shut Up! NFA Chides Vogts, Demands Victory Against Uganda

Lagos — THE Nigeria Football Association, NFA, yesterday poured cold water over the threat of German Coach, Berti Vogts to throw in the towel over his unpaid May salary. FA Chairman, Sani Lulu Abdullahi told Vogts in clear terms not to use the salary issue as an excuse to fail in Uganda where the Eagles play the Cranes on Saturday in a Nations Cup qualifier. "Our Chairman called him and told him not to distract the attention of the football house whose hands are full with three international assignments this weekend. He told him also not to use his salary as an excuse for failure in the match against Uganda", FA's Head of Media, Ademola Olajire said on our hotline from Abuja.

Vogts raised alarm yesterday that he would abandon the Eagles who are currently training in Kenya and head home if his May salary was not paid. But Olajire pointed out yesterday that the man was an alarmist as the date for the payment of his salary was still far ahead. "What is in his contract concerning salary is a quarterly payment and that quarterly payment would be due on June 21. I wonder why the man chose a tight period like this to raise false alarm and to paint the FA and Nigeria in bad picture", Olajire, a no-nonsense writer before he took the job said.

He however noted that the FA Chairman sorted out things with the German noting that peace has once again returned. "Our Chairman told him to concentrate and do his job. We have a reputable Communications giant in Globacom and they are equal to the task. We need victory against the loquacious Ugandans and not distraction over salary that is not yet due," Olajire said.

Meanwhile, Globacom Limited has reaffirmed its commitment to providing an enabling environment for Nigerian football to rule Africa and the world. The company said its commitment to fund the national teams of Nigeria and pay the salary of Berti Vogts remains intact.

Okon Iyanam, the Executive Director, Marketing Communication of Globacom gave the assurances yesterday in a press statement in which he also expressed the company's support for the Super Eagles and the U-23 Olympic team in their respective qualifying matches this weekend.

"Globacom remains committed to its obligations and responsibilities to the Nigeria Football Association (NFA) in respect of the sponsorship of the national teams of Nigeria and the payment of the salary of Mr. Vogts. We are a proudly Nigerian company that is committed to enabling Nigerians as individuals and groups to rule their world through their natural talents," Iyanam declared.

He clarified that the salary of the National Technical Adviser will be due by June 21 and expressed surprise at recent media exchanges between the NFA and the coach. Iyanam posited that, "The specifics of the contract is very clear to all parties and it is in the interest of our football that the coach should be allowed to concentrate on the job of raising a formidable squad for the next two games involving the Super Eagles in the coming weeks."

He expressed confidence that the Super Eagles will maintain their hundred percent record in the Nations Cup group qualifying matches on Saturday by defeating the Cranes of Uganda. "The Cranes are inferior to you the Super Eagles just as those backing them are inferior to Nigeria's flagship network, Globacom. The Cranes will fall with their new supporters and Nigeria will continue to rule the group," Iyanam remarked.

The Globacom official also urged Nigerians to massively support the U-23 Olympic team, fondly called the 'Dream Team' as they confront the Junior Black Stars at the Abuja National Stadium for a place in the 2008 Olympic football event.

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