Nigeria are considered as one of the top ranking teams in Africa and they would potentially be a favourite to achieve World Cup 2018 qualification with ease.
However, there is now a possibility that the Nigerian Football Federation will not be involved in the qualification campaign to start with. The country is in the midst of a recession due to extremely low oil prices. Nigerian economy depends a lot on the export of oil. Since the prices have been low for more than a year, the government has had to deal with severe recession and inability to support the manufacturing sector due to the lack of power.
In such a scenario, it has just been revealed that appearing in the World Cup 2018 qualification campaign will cost several millions of dollars when the players’ wages, travel costs, and other factors are considered. For example, it is estimated that the upcoming game against Zambia will alone cost the Nigerian Football Federation around $300,000 for various means.
Transport will be the biggest factor in this price estimate, as a chartered plane to transport the squad and the staff for two days will come close to $200,000. The Football Federation is also reportedly in debt to the tune of $95,000 to each player.
“As we speak, we don’t have any kobo (a denomination of Nigeria’s naira currency) in our purse. The charges for the Airline alone is $200,000 for a 140-seater plane, and it will be on ground with the team for two days. We need between $6,000 and $10,000 for flight ticket(s) to bring in the players (from Europe). The federal government still has to play its part, because this is the beginning of our campaign for the 2018 World Cup qualifying ticket. If we must get it right, every hand must be on deck,” said a member of the Football Federation.