Head Coach of the Deaf Eagles of Nigeria Coach Kamilu Banjo has made a passionate appeal to the Minister of Youth and Sports Development Mr. Sunday Dare to assist the National deaf football team ahead of the 1st Africa Deaf Football Championship which comes up from 11th-25th of September 2021.
Coach Banjo who spoke exclusively with Sports Intelligence Magazine said the continental event which will be hosted in Nairobi, Kenya also serve as qualifier for the Summer Deaflympics Football which holds in Caxias de Sul, Brazil in May 2022.
Speaking from the team camp at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Surulere, Lagos, Coach Banjo said the situation is critical.
“We just played a friendly match which we won and we have been in camp since August 28, 2021”. “The team need to participate in the continental Championship, as it will help in our qualification for the Deaflympics”.
“The Deaf Eagles of Nigeria are West African Champions” “It will be unfair if we do not take part in the tournament as time is no longer on our side”.
When asked if the Sports Ministry has been approached, Coach Banjo gave a firm response.
“I am aware that the Sports Ministry has been approached, and time is not on our side”. “Time is tickling and we will need to fly the team and officials to Kenya, as well as take care of other expenses such as feeding, accommodation, wages and other logistics.
Presently, there is no money readily available and yet all these need to be done to enable us participate in the championship”.
“We are hoping to leave camp by September 9th for Nairobi, Kenya for the championship, and this can only be achieved when the funds are there to enable us fly Nigeria’s colour”.
Coach Banjo also used this medium to appeal to corporate organizations as well as individuals who are moved by the plight of the Deaf team to come to their support at this point of their need.
The Deaf Eagles of Nigeria are rated number one in West Africa, winning three of the WADFU tournament and finishing runners-up on two occasions.