ECOWAS Deaf Football Championship: Amuda seeks financial support
By; Ayo Ojedokun, Lagos.
With few weeks to the commencement of the 5th edition of West African Deaf Football Championship, President of West African Deaf Sports Union, (WADSU) Amuda Yusuf Ibrahim has appealed to government and corporate organizations to give financial support to the National Deaf Football Team to enable it win the trophy for the fourth time.
He noted that the championship slated for November 22nd – 30th in Lome, Togo, will attract eight countries namely; Nigeria, Togo, Ghana, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Burkina -Faso and Benin Republic but expressed regrets that apart from support from ECOWAS, the team has not received any encouragement as they prepare for the sub-regional tournament.
According to him, out of the 18 players that will represent the country at the championship, National Sports Commission (NSC) has accepted to sponsor 14 players while Nigeria Deaf Federation is expected to source for funds for the remaining four players, positing that that such arrangement might prevent some of the best players from being part of the trip.
“I am appealing to corporate Nigeria to come to our aid and help the team not only participate in the championship but be in a good frame of mind to win the tournament.
“It must be noted that since we started participating in the tournament, the only little support we get is from ECOWAS that have been consistent in setting prize money and other expenses and that is why I am appealing to corporate organizations to give us financial support”, noted Amuda who explained that there are deaf football teams in all the 36 states of the Federation but regretted that many state governments are not interested in their activities.
Secretary General of Deaf Sports Federation of Nigeria, Abdulaziz Awli stated that while the team is ready to participate in the championship and win the trophy, paucity of funds could affect the country’s chances of performing well in the tournament.
It would be recalled that Nigeria won the West African Deaf Championship in 2010, 2012 and 2013 but emerged runners-up last year, a position which the Federation attributed to lack of funds that prevented some of their best players from being part of the championship.