The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) said the it charged clubs to pay for the registration of their players on FIFA Connect due to expected expenses it will incur while processing each club’s data.
The Nigeria Professional Football League clubs are asked to pay Two hundred thousand (N200,000), the Nigeria National League (NNL) and the Nigeria Nationwide League One (NLO) teams are to pay One hundred and fifty-six thousand (#156,000) while grassroots and Academies clubs are asked to pay One hundred and thirty thousand naira (#130,000) for the registration.
The FIFA Connect Programme helps member associations (MAs) to register all their stakeholders in a systematic way and keep track of players, coaches and referees – wherever they are in the world. The Connect Programme provides a unique FIFA ID code for every individual who has a role in the football organisation. This code is like a digital football passport number and has the information of the history of each stakeholder.
The Federation’s senior official who spoke on condition of anonymity stated that the money charged on each club will be spent on production of the digital FIFA unique number which players will use for the rest of their careers, payment for hiring of technocrats form outside the country to help in the registration so as to meet up with the FIFA deadline which was extended till September 30, 2021.
The reliable source added that FIFA sent a letter to the NFF in December, 2020 warning the Federation that it would be excluded from the platform if it fails to complete registration of Nigerian clubs on it before April, 2021. The date that was extended to September, 2021.
Justifying why clubs should pay for the registration, the source said, “It is not only in Nigeria that they charge money for registration of FIFA Connect. In fact, they charge One hundred dollars ($150) per player in the elite League in Ghana. The Federation will spend money on purchases of equipment with which the FIFA ID card will be produced, also payment of foreign technocrats and other expenses. This at a time the
Speaking on the importance of the registration, he said, “With FIFA Connect, European clubs can easily contact any Nigeria club if they want to communicate directly with the club. And the confusion and disagreement in ownership of player will be put to rest.
“Any club that is not on FIFA Connect can neither claim ownership nor receive money on sale of players. In fact, the club is non-existing in the eye of the Federation. FIFA Connect helps in tracking of players wherever they are with the help of their unique number.
Meanwhile, clubs in the grassroots raised eyebrows regarding payment for their teams’ registration on FIFA Connect saying the process suppose to be free because according to them, it is Free of Charge according to FIFA on its website.