Nigeria’s amputee football team, the Special Eagles, are in a race against time to make it to the World Cup, but they have received some good news from John Mikel Obi.
The Super Eagles captain has pledged financial support to the cash-strapped team, who are desperately trying to get the finals in Mexico, where they face Brazil on Sunday.
They have turned to crowd-funding, while the NFF and Super Eagles have also contributed, but Fred Edoreh, the co-ordinator of the fund-raising, says they are not out of the woods yet.
“We’ve spoken to a representative of John Mikel Obi, who has offered to help the team,” he told BBC Sport. “His support will come as a big boost, but right now the dilemma is to find the flights to get the squad to Mexico.
“Time is running out on us and with ticket costs increasing by the day towards our opening game against our budget, we are taking the hard decisions of sending the first team as first batch.
“Our travel agents are working hard to secure space for them by (Wednesday). So they are expected to depart Lagos by 12 noon with Ethiopia Airlines. This will help us to secure our presence and avoid a global sanction. Hoping with additional funds, the reserve team can depart on Thursday or Friday.”
Nigeria have missed the last three World Cups due to a lack of funds, with Angola, Kenya and Ghana representing the continent at the 2014 finals.