World Cup

Niger budget $4m for Nations Cup

Niger national team have budgeted $4m for next month’s Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa, officials have said.

Top Niger FA official Sani Mohamed told MTNFootball.com that this budget is more than double what the country spent on their debut appearance at the competition when it held earlier this year in Equatorial Guinea/Gabon.

“We are hopeful our budget of about $4m will be approved by government. This is more than twice what we spent for the 2012 Nations Cup.

“For the last tournament we spent around $1.5m, but with the experience we got there, we have now deemed it necessary to increase our expenditure,” Mohamed said.

Niger’s budget is less than half of the $9m next-door neighbours Nigeria plan to spend in South Africa.

Nigerian tycoon Dahiru Mangal has already agreed to fly over 500 fans to South Africa for the Nations Cup.

Niger is a land-locked country in West Africa and regarded as one of the world’s poorest nations but the recent discovery of oil has raised expectations there.

The country’s team, better known as Mena by their fans, made their Nations Cup debut at the 2012 competition in Gabon. They lost all three group games to co-hosts Gabon, Morocco and Tunisia.

For the 2013 tournament in South Africa, they are drawn in Group D along with Ghana, Mali and DR Congo. They are due to fly out from Niamey on January 8 to South Africa for a final training camp ahead of the competition.

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