Nigeria’s Amputee football team known as Special Eagles, have arrived in Angola for the 2019 Africa Amputee Football Cup of Nations.
The 15-man team, which has decried neglect from the government, managed to arrive in Angola through air tickets procured on credit from an agent.
The team would also be participating in the tournament with jerseys, tracksuits, boots and other vital items all procured on credit.
Speaking on arrival in Angola, President of the Nigeria Amputee Football Federation, Suleiman Isah, appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari for urgent support of the team.
He said, “It is tough for us but we needed to make this trip to keep hope alive for the amputees who had decided to counter their physical disability by engaging in sports.
“They have been absent from the Africa Nations Cup for nine years because there was no funding. It will devastate the boys badly if they missed this edition again.
“Unfortunately, the only support we got was from the Nigeria Football Federation and it is not enough to cover the cost of flight tickets, forcing us to drop some players.
“We got tickets on credit just as we also procured jerseys, tracksuits, boots and other equipment on credit.
“Worse is that we don’t even have a dime to give to the players as allowances both at the competition and on return.
“We are hoping that the Ministry of Sports will approve some aid for us but we are not certain.”
The Nigerian amputee football team will open their campaign against Liberia on Friday before meeting Cameroon, Tanzania, Sierra Leone and host Angola in subsequent matches.
Recall that last year the amputee teams were involved in an auto crash while on their way for a football competition in Abuja.