The Nigeria Football Federation strongly condemned a report in a section of the media on Wednesday suggesting that there is uncertainty over the planned Nigeria-Guatemala friendly international billed for the United States of America on February 9, 2011.
NFF’s Acting General Secretary, Barrister Musa Amadu stated that the purveyors of cynicism about the ability of the Nigeria Football Federation to arrange friendly internationals and invitational tournaments for the national teams should stop their campaign forthwith.
“It is sad that a section of the media is hell-bent on constantly engineering negative reports that are capable of jeopardizing the efforts of the Nigeria Football Federation to organize matches for our national teams. I wish to state here that should the international friendly match between Nigeria and Guatemala fail to take place on February 9, the whole nation should hold responsible a section of the media that has been vigorously involved in this campaign, as well as those characters who are going about with frivolous law suits.
“To start with, the man whom the national sports paper that published the story claimed to have spoken to, is NOT the Secretary General of the Guatemala Football Federation, otherwise known as Federacion Nacional de Futbol de Guatemala. The Secretary General is Mr. Hector Efran Trujillo Aldana, and the President is Mr. Bryan Jimenez.
“The way international friendly matches work in the modern day, we do not have to sign a contract with the Guatemala Football Federation to play Guatemala. All it needs is a match agent, otherwise known as the organizer, who is the go-between for both countries. The organizer will have an investor. In the case of the planned match between Nigeria and Guatemala, the match agent is Mr. Babatunde Epoyun, a Nigerian based in the USA, and the investors are the Africa Soccer Investment Group.
“We have done a lot of paperwork, and we have a letter dated January 5, 2011, signed by the Sports Director of the Guatemala Football Federation, Mr. Sergio Torrado, accepting to play this match in Miami on February 9, 2011. The investor is ready and the two teams are ready.
“However, I must say with every sense of responsibility that a section of the media appears bent on making things very difficult for the NFF. The story that Guatemala does not know about the match has come at a time that our team has secured date to appear at the USA Embassy for issuance of visa. It has also come just after we issued a letter of comfort to the organizer and the investor when they developed cold feet following reports from Nigeria that top officials of the NFF would appear in court on February 3, and that Nigeria could be banned from international football.
“The investor became reluctant after those reports, but we have re-assured him. This new story is bound to generate more uncertainty.
“The other day, they also tried to discredit the Green Bowl Soccer Tournament in the USA, until we came out wth all the documents that had been signed on the tournament. Nigerians should ask these people why they are sustaining this campaign.
“On our part, we have done everything possible to ensure this match stays on the cards and we are doing everything possible to get more matches. But signals are important in the sports world and we only hope and pray the media will fully complement our efforts in this regard”, said Amadu