By Joy Okosieme
The Nigeria Football Federation on Thursday handed out palliatives to representatives of 14 different clubs and two communities in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja as token support in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic ravaging the entire world presently.
The clubs, spread across Nigeria National League, Nigerian Nationwide League One and FCT League (academies) cadres, included Supreme Court FC, EFCC FC, Abuja Female United, FOSLA FC, Bimo Sporting Club, Wazobia FC, Setraco FC, Goodland FC, Fire Service FC, NYSC FC, FWC Champion Club, Abees Academy, Casmat Academy, and WACO Academy. Garki Village and Karamajiji communities also benefitted from the package.
At the presentation of packed items such as rice, beans, Indomie noodles, groundnut oil and tin tomatoes at the football body’s headquarters inside the MKO Abiola National Stadium, NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi clarified that the palliatives were the initiatives of the NFF as its own relief to a number of stakeholder-clubs and not procured from the $500,000 that world body, FIFA has promised to send to each of its Member Associations.
“This package is the initiative of the NFF to, in its little way, support some stakeholder-clubs and communities within the FCT as a result of the COVID-19. This did not come from the money that FIFA is sending to NFF and its Member Associations. When that money comes, it will come with clear instructions on how it should be spent, though we have already got the hint that it will be principally on operations of the Federation.
“We want to praise the Federal Government for the excellent job it has been doing to test, detect, isolate, and treat those found to have the virus since this pandemic started months ago. Our appreciation also goes to the Federal Ministry of Health and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control. We also commend all the first responders and those on the frontline. These are indeed difficult times but we pray and are assured that Almighty God will take us safely through this challenging period,” Dr. Sanusi said.
He also appealed to representatives of the clubs, media representatives, NFF staff and other stakeholders present to continue to adhere to the precautionary measures as rolled out by the Federal Ministry of Health, the World Health Organization and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control in order to avoid unsavoury experience of contracting the virus.
“Please always endeavour to wash your hands regularly with soap and water, use hand sanitizers generously, make the wearing of face masks a habit, and keep social distancing.”
NFF 2nd Vice President, Mallam Shehu Dikko, and Dr. Sanusi made the presentations.
Earlier in the week, the NFF gave out face masks, latex hand gloves, and sanitizers to some communities in Kano State. On Monday, the nation’s football governing body will distribute more face masks, latex gloves, and sanitizers in Lagos State and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.