A member of the NFF Task Force on cadet national teams and chairman of Katsina State Football Association, Alhaji Aminu Kurfi Balele, has said he splashed a whopping 30,000 US Dollars on the National U-23 male team, the Olympics Eagles, to motivate them to qualify for the 2024 Olympic Games in France.
It will be recalled that shortly before the return leg of the 2023 AFCON U-23 qualifiers on Saturday in Ibadan, the business mogul redeemed his pledge of $10,000 to the Olympic Eagles for the 1-1 draw in first leg in Dar es Salaam.
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And immediately after the 2-0 victory over Junior Taifas in the return leg, Balele again redeemed another pledge of $20,000 he had made to the Olympic Eagles to inspire them to victory.
Going by the official exchange rate, the All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain in Katsina State has sprayed over N13m on the Olympic Eagles but if it is by the rate in the parallel market, it would swell to over N24m.
Speaking to Daily Trust yesterday, Balele who is APC’s House of Representative candidate for the Dutsinma/Kurfi Federal Constituency election in 2023 said as a leading football stakeholder, he was paid that Nigeria failed to qualify for the last Olympic Games in Tokyo so he is ready to motivate the present squad qualify for the next Olympics in France.
“I am happy that I joined other well-meaning Nigerians like the Governor of Oyo State Makinde to motivate the U-23 national team to qualify for the next round of the 2023 AFCON qualifiers.
“It is not only about the money that I gave to the Olympic Eagles. What is more important is that as Nigerians, we must be patriotic enough to support the team to qualify for France 2024 Olympics,” said Balele.