Sand Eagles star threatens to boycott CAF beach soccer championship over poor treatment

By Augustine Kalu on December 10, 2016

Views: 2,161

As various countries are preparing for this year’s CAF Beach Soccer which will be hosted in Lagos, Nigeria, a vital player of the country’s Sand Eagles as the Nigerian National Beach soccer team are called, has threatened to boycott the continental championship owing to what he described as poor treatment being meted out to the players of the team.

The player who would not like his name mentioned for fear of being victimised by those in authority said he has been contacted by those in authority and his coach with a view to getting him be a part of the squad that would represent the country when the CAF Beach Soccer 2016 kicked off in few days time in Lagos. According to him the team is preparing for the tournament at their camp in Badagry. He revealed that at the time he was approached by the officials and the technical crew, he didn’t give them any green light due to the way the players of the team had been treated in the past.

He said it was regrettable that the Nigerian Football governing body, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) whose responsibility it is to carter for the team have not been up and doing in taking care of them. He explained that it is always a great privilege for anybody to be called up to serve his fatherland but in doing so, the basic requirement for the successful execution of the assignment ought to be made available but in the case of the Super Sand Eagles, the reverse has always been the case.

“You see, my coach and those in authority have contacted me for this year’s CAF Beach Soccer Tournament which Lagos will play host any moment this month but I have not given them any green light because the way they have been treating us is very poor,” the player began.

“There is no doubt that it is a rare privilege for anyone to be called among over 180million Nigerians to come and serve his fatherland but in doing so; I believe there should be enabling environment for such an individual to carry out his assigned duty. Unfortunately the reserve has always been the case with the Sand Eagles.

“Could you believe that as a national beach soccer team, they carry us with one rickety Toyota Hiace? We don’t have a good vehicle as a national team. Sometimes this rickety Toyota Hiace bus will breakdown and we start waiting on the road for it to be repaired before we continue with our journey to the camp in Badagry,” he lamented.    

He alleged that the Amaju Pinnick-led board of the NFF does not have any regard for the Super Sand Eagles hence, their welfare is not considered or given adequate attention unlike other national beach soccer teams in other countries. The player alleged that among the national teams under the NFF, the Sand Eagles are the worst hit in the NFF’s poor treatment of players of the national teams.

“As far as I am concerned, the NFF does not have any regard for the Sand Eagles hence the neglect. Could you believe that as national team players, there is no arrangement for our feeding? Do you know that we eat at roadside food vendor (mama Put)? If you get to Badagry Round about; you will see that road going to the beach, there is a woman by the junction with big umbrella who sells food, that’s where we eat most times and you say we are a national team.

“Is this how other national teams are treated? I don’t think so. I believe that the management of the NFF does not have any regard for us and that is why our welfare is not their concerned. If you see other countries Beach Soccer Team, you feel jealous but ours is different,” the player said.

The player who is of northern extraction stated this while voicing out his frustrations with his close friends without any knowledge that this sports journalist was in their midst and was interested in what he was complaining about.

Speaking further, he declared that he would only honour invitation to play for the Super Sand Eagles if he is given assurances that all his entitlements in previous assignments and the upcoming one would be paid to him and his teammates who have been abandoned for long by the management of the football house.

“As we speak, our allowances and bonuses since the last edition of the CAF Beach Soccer tournament are yet to be paid. To tell you that the authorities don’t care about us, they have paid most teams their entitlements including the home-based Eagles, the Flying Eagles, the Dream Team VI, and the Super Eagles, etc.

“Meanwhile we played our tournament before all these other teams still they are yet to see any reason to pay us even when our entitlements were supposed to be the first to be paid. They are yet to pay us our entitlement even we were first runners-up in the last edition of the tournament. What crime have we committed that we are being treated like this? The frustrated player lamented.

“So, if I do not receive concrete assurance that my previous allowances and bonuses will be paid, I will not make myself available for the CAF Beach Soccer next month,” the players declared.

•Photo shows NFF President Amaju Pinnick.

Source Daily Sports

Posted December 10, 2016

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