The home-based Super Eagles and officials will depart Nigeria today for the Africa Nations Championship, which kicks off this weekend in South Africa without the teamâ€™s head coach, Stephen Keshi.
A reliable source close to the team informed pacetv that the teamâ€™s gaffer would not be traveling yet due to his involvement in the African Football of the Year Award billed to hold in Lagos on Thursday
The source said the team will depart Abuja today for Lagos, where they will connect flight to South Africa. â€œKeshi will not be traveling with the team because of the Africa Footballer Award in Lagos, but will join the team later.â€
Meanwhile, the team will travel to South Africa amidst financial difficulty, following the failure of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to pay their camp allowances.
A source told pacetv that the situation is unbearable for the players, who lamented that the only money given to them since they started camping was after the friendly in Port Harcourt against Gokana Fc.
The source maintained that their hope was further dashed after the friendly against Kano Pillars last weekend when they were not given a dime as match bonus .â€œIt has not been easy for the players and officials preparing for the CHAN. You canâ€™t believe that since they started camping, they have not got anything as camping allowance.
The financial crunch is biting hard and the players and officials were no longer comfortable with the situation. Many have families at home to cater for. They sacrificed the festive period because of national duty, but whatever they enjoyed here meant nothing to them because they could not send money to their families back home. It is not really the best of time for them,â€ our source said.
our source argued that, though the NFF could not absorb itself of blame, but their poor financial situation was bad.
â€œI donâ€™t want to think that the federation is so insensitive that they would deliberately want to see the players and officials suffer in camp. I want to blame the situation on the failure of government to pay the allocation of last year quarter to most ministries and parastatals, including the football federation,â€ our source noted.
On whether the players and officials would do anything untoward concerning the situation, our source said: â€œDonâ€™t forget that CHAN was not in the federationâ€™s budget.
They have to bear with the federation and it seems they have resolved that it will not affect their performance in the tournament or even their departure today. They seem to have resigned to fate that since it would be paid in bulk, they would exercise patience with the federation,â€ the source said.