NFA Crisis May Cost Nigeria Another AFCON – Ladipo

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The President-General of
the Nigeria Football and Other Sports Supporters Club (NFSSC), Rafiu Ladipo,  says he was concerned that Nigeria may lose another Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) ticket.
Ladipo said on Monday, while speaking with newsmen in Abuja, that Nigeria stood the chance of not qualifying for the 2017 AFCON if the ongoing leadership crisis was not settled.
The 2015 AFCON is holding presently in Equatorial Guinea without Nigeria, who are the defending champions, after winning in South Africa in 2013.
Ladipo, who blamed the country’s failure to qualify on the crisis, said the Eagles might be distracted from the qualifiers for 2017 AFCON if the parties involved continue to disagree.
“We should blame our failure to qualify on the crisis which rocked the NFA, and that crisis of leadership was necessitated by the board elections.
“Before we knew what was happening, we had started losing matches. Whereas the Eagles were expected to qualify even before the last two games, we lost games we were not supposed to lose,’’ he said.
Ladipo said he was at the NFA secretariat to let the association know how to prepare for the 2017 AFCON.
He said many Nigerians would not want a repeat of the Eagles’ failure to go for the competition.
“Some NFA officials are there (at Equatorial Guinea, venue of the 2015 AFCON) and I hope they will come back with some lessons that will ginger our boys and put them in a better position to qualify for the next edition of AFCON,’’ Ladipo said.
He said the NFA must put its house in order to avoid a repeat of what happened in the 2015 qualifying series.
The NFSSC official said the distraction which characterised the Eagles’ participation in the qualifying series contributed mostly to the non-qualification.
Ladipo urged the NFA to ensure the Eagles qualified and go on to win the 2017 AFCON to make up for the absence at the ongoing edition.
He said his club lost so much financially due to the country’s inability to qualify for the biennial competition.
“Before now, members of the club had put aside substantial amounts of money to produce souvenirs like T-shirts, caps and other materials which they are going to sell to make money for the club.
“What we had put in place before we realised that we could not go ran into millions of Naira.
“We were going to the qualifiers with some souve