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Rio Olympic Qualifier: NFF Warns Clubs Over Players Withdrawal

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Following the poor arrival of invited players to the U-23 Dream Team VI camp, the Nigeria Football Fed­eration (NFF), has expressed displeasure over the withdrawal of players from the camp, by clubs, in order to make them participate in league matches.

This was contained in an open letter to the clubs by the federation, through its General Secretary Dr Moham­med Sanusi, who was shocked that out of the 30 invited players only four remained in camp.

Sanusi insisted that clubs must discontinue this trend.

He said: “I was shocked when Siasia in­formed me of the situation he is passing through in his camp. I was not happy that nobody brought the issue of players shuttling between camp and clubs, leaving camp to play for clubs.

“The rules are there that if we have only four play­ers in camp, two things are possible. It is either we sus­pend the league or grant the players leave to play and return to camp. From what he told me that he does not have up to four players, I have told him that we are not obliged to release any player.

“I have directed that a letter be written to dispatch to all the clubs and also the Fas of the state the players come from to inform them that henceforth, we are not going to allow any invited play to leave the camp to prosecute any match for their clubs.

“I cannot understand why it should happen in the first place. I don’t un­derstand why a club should worry because they have two players in the national team when a club is al­lowed to register 40 players to prosecute the league. No club can jeopardise nation­al interest because of just two players in the national team. We are going to put a permanent stop to it.”

He also said that the reason why the country performs poorly in local competitions, was due to the fact that the CAF calendar is not in line with that of the FIFA calendar.

“Let me admit that we have a big challenge and that was what cost us the Olympic ticket for the female team.

“It has been a very big problem confronting us for some time now. We have tried to tackle it at differ­ent fora that some of these CAF competitions are not in FIFA calendar making it impossible for foreign clubs to release the players to prosecute the tournament.”