|Yusuf Dauda, HFN President|
Pundits are getting worried stiff about the final death throes hanging on the frail neck of the game of handball with the massive scam allegedly unearthing from hosting the 33rd edition of the African handball championship played last year in Kaduna, north-west Nigeria.
Hamdala Hotel accommodated the teams. Handball Federation of Nigeria (HFN) were to deposit 50% of the N30m in advance and pay up the balance on arrival of the teams to the venue of the championships.
It is a tradition that teams participating in the championship pay per athlete and official for the duration of the championship. This reporter played in four editions of the championships with Niger United of Minna and Zamalek SC of Cairo winning twice and a third place once.
In the Nigerian event, Euros 60 was paid per head of participant. The competition had a full complement of participating teams. 12 male teams and 10 female teams. Each team is allowed a minimum 16 players and four officials. They can bring more. That gives an average of 20 persons per team. Therefore, no less than 440 persons paid Euors 60 per day for the 10-day event which held between 20th and 31st October 2011.
That amounts to Euros 264,400. At the prevailing average exchange rate of N200 to the Euro, N52.8m was raked in as income. How come Hamdala Hotel’s N30m could not be settled by the organizers, HFN and the franchise owners, the Confederation of African Handball (CAHB)? How were the funds managed that they accumulated an extra debt of N11m to Hamdala, if that’s the only debt incurred.
Added to the fact that the Kaduna State government dropped N3m and First Bank Plc also donated N1m. When the management of the hotel had exhausted her persuasive vote, they wrote the National Sports Commission on the 1st March 2012. They’ve not gotten a response yet.
The sum of N11m was paid with the Federation writing an undertaking on the 1st November 2011 to pay the balance in two weeks. It is yet to be two weeks since then. The hotel luckily got an additional N1.8m. The balance of N7.2m is still outstanding against the Federation.
It would be recalled that the Hamdala Hotel management had organized to stop the final of the tournament being played until the duo of Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Sports, Godfrey Gaiya (who incidentally hails from Kaduna) and the then acting Director of Elite Athlete department in the NSC, Yakmut Alhassan intervened.