News broke on Monday evening that the Nigeria Amputee Football team was involved in a motor accident along the Lokoja – Abuja expressway on their way to Abuja to pickup their visas ahead of the upcoming Amputee World Cup in Mexico.
Thankfully, no life was lost as the players only sustained minor injuries. Moving on from that unfortunate incident, ACLSports got talking to the team captain, Goodluck Obieze as he shared the team’s struggles and also called for support ahead of the upcoming World Cup in Mexico.
“For the past one week, we have been at Teslim Balogun Stadium. The Amputee Global fund is what we are using to camp the players. Our federation has not done anything, they said the government has not assisted and you know the rules and regulations in Nigeria,” he said on the challenges faced so far.
“We have started camping since last week and we have just received a token but we didn’t bother because of the passion we have for the game so we are managing it. We just returned from Abuja because we travelled on Monday to the Mexican embassy for our visa and we have gotten it.”
However, not minding the challenges which includes having to pay their transport fare to training despite players coming from Ikorodu, Ajah and some others from outside Lagos, Obieze has assured Nigerians that the team would do their best should they make it to Mexico citing the seriousness in camp as a major reason.
He then appealed to the government saying: “The Federal Government is like a father to us. So supporting us means supporting the nation. We are not going there to represent ourselves. It is the Nigerian flag that will be hoisted there. If we do well, it will be a good thing for Nigeria and if not, it will be a shame to Nigeria also. So let them treat us the same way they treat the able bodied ones so that there will be no discrimination.”
Adding that “a lot of our players are saying it is because of our disability that they dumped us but I had to find strength to convince them that it’s not like that.
“Take the powerlifters for instance, they are the ones bringing pride to the nation. Let them give us that sense of belonging so that we can do the same thing. This game we are playing, it is not because we are gaining anything from it but because of the passion.”
Finally he appealed to well meaning and sport loving Nigerians to give whatever they have to help them get to Mexico and not miss out on the World Cup the fourth time.
“I’m pleading to all Nigerians all over the world to support us. If Nigerians contribute =N=500 into that (Global Amputee) account, we would get the =N=20m we are looking for. So we also use this opportunity to call on corporate bodies, religious organisations and individuals to come to our rescue.”
It is important to note that the tournament commences in 6 days and the team need all the financial support they can get to be in Mexico. Donations to support the Nigeria Amputee Football team and help them represent the country can be made to the account below:
Account Name: Amputee Global
Account Number: 1015907346
Bank: Zenith Bank.