By Johnny Edward:
President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Amaju Pinnick, has revealed that Egypt Air will fly the Super Eagles to Cairo for the second leg of the AFCON 2017 qualifier in Alexandria against the Pharaohs on March 26.
Pinnick, in a chat with newsmen on Thursday, explained that the present economic situation had made it difficult for the team to travel to Egypt by chartered flight which has been their normal trend.
“We looked at various options; we have Arik as our partner but Arik as a company is going through a tough time; tough time in the sense that everything they are doing is in foreign currency.
“So, even if they say that they are going to take 250, 000 dollars to fly the team there, how much is it in naira? Over N60 million.
“It was initially 290,000 dollars but they came down because they have to pay landing and parking charges in Alexandria and we looked at the other option that Egypt Air has three flights from Nigeria every day.
“They have from Kano, Abuja and Lagos. We are going to be saving a minimum of 35 to N40 million, and if you can save that, why don’t you do a regular Egypt Air that leaves Abuja 11. 30 and gets to Cairo that Saturday.
“Cairo to Alexandria is twenty minutes by air and one hour by road because indeed they (players) might not even train that Saturday, then, on Sunday/Monday they will train and by Tuesday evening they play the game.
“So, people should be able to see why we are doing this, not because of anything, but looking at cost and other operational activation; it’s going to save us minimum N30 million.
“So, it’s a 100, 000 dollars which of course can pay players some of their bonuses. So we are looking at the economics of scale."