Nigeria to screen DR Congo players for ebola

The Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung, on Monday, said  DR  Congo players would be screened for Ebola on arrival in the country ahead of their friendly match against the Super Eagles in Port Harcourt on Monday.

This is because of the outbreak of the deadly virus in the Central African country.

Dalung disclosed this in an interview with State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja,  after briefing President Muhammadu Buhari on the nation’s preparedness for the friendly match and World Cup in Russia next month.

The minister explained that the match would not be put off because of the outbreak but stringent precautionary measure would be taken.

He said, “Nigeria is going to play the friendly. I have discussed with the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation in anticipation.

“We have reviewed the situation and received adequate information about it. So we have agreed on major approaches.

“One, the DRC team is coming through a chartered flight and those coming for the match will be using that flight and they would have been screened from the DRC and they will be screened here in Nigeria.

“No other person is going to be admitted using any other means of transportation for the match. We also discovered that the Ebola outbreak is limited to a particular place and it has not escalated.

“So we wouldn’t want to run the risk of setting a precedent which we will later be a victim. Based on that, we only introduced strict policies to ensure that the match takes place and the match will take place.”

The minister also said the late passage of the 2018 Budget was not affecting the team’s preparations for the tournament.

He explained that the budget provision would only complement other sources of funds available to the team.

He said, “The delay is not affecting us because of the funds we have from FIFA  and from CAF.

“Indeed, the funds from the Federal Government is going to complement our actual participation in Russia. So we have funds from different sources to prepare.

“What we need now is the participation proper for the tournament and it is going to come from the government. So it is not actually affecting our preparation.”

Dalung added, “I briefed the President about other friendlies we have ahead and the need for the President to mobilise more support for the team.”




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