2014 World Cup Qualifier: Calabar Is Safe —Malawi FA.
The Football Association of Malawi, FAM has described as false claims by its national team coach, Tom Saintfiet that Calabar, Cross River State, venue of the 7 September World Cup qualifier between the Flames of Malawi and Super Eagles is not secured.
Saintfiet and Coach Stephen Keshi of Nigeria had engaged in war of words over security issues at the proposed venue of the match, but General Secretary of FAM, Nyinreda Suzgo, who led an advanced party of the Malawians to Calabar yesterday said Calabar is safe and ready to host the tie.
Corroborating Suzgo’s stand is Team Coordinator of the Eagles, Emmanuel Atta, who said he met with Suzgo and other members of the advanced party.According to Atta: “The advanced team of Malawi arrived Abuja yesterday and flew to Calabar straight and from what they said on arrival they were really impressed with the security that they met on ground, the match would go as planned.”
Atta also disclosed that the camp of the Eagles is gradually coming alive with six players currently in camp, adding that other invited players are expected later in the day.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, has said it would start the implementation of the recommendations of the Ministerial Panel on Super Eagles’ bonus with the qualifier .
To this effect, the federation has urged the invited Super Eagles players to prepare their minds to receive the $5,000 winning bonus as recommended by the Segun Adeniyi led probe panel, warning that any player not ready to accept the amount should not bother to join the team in Calabar.
The chairman of the NFF Media Committee, Emeka Inyama, told the media Monday in Abuja that the federation’s decision to reduce the players’ winning bonus even before the panel’s submitted its report was due to paucity of fund, stressing that the NFF is currently owed the national team coaches backlog of salaries, as well as some workers of the Federation.
Inyama, who was reacting to warnings that the NFF should not jeopardise Nigeria’s chances of beating Malawi to get close to the World Cup ticket, however, said the federation could decide to motivate the players and officials of the team due to importance it attached to the Mundial ticket.
“As you are aware, the NFF has insisted that we are paying $5,000, the board has approved it and the committee inaugurated by the minister has also recommended it. The NFF made it clear to the players in Kenya and Namibia that it is what it can afford for the period.