NFF Admits Owing Eagles, Begs For Patience
The Nigeria Football Federation has owned up to accusations leveled against it by Super Eagles players that it was owning members of the national football team in match bonuses for the past 18months.
Days after the unfortunate AFCON qualifier double-header game with the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone that saw the Super Eagles playing a 4-4, news filtered in that the Eagles have not been paid their match allowances and bonuses since crashing out of the 2019 AFCON in Egypt, after losing to the tournament’s winner, Algeria.
The federation’a president, Amaju Melvin Pinnick, in an interview with BBC Sports Africa, acknowledged that they were owing the Super Eagles and begged for patience as the organization was working towards offsetting the debts soon.
“We are working with the government very seriously in assuring that it [money] comes out within the next few weeks.
“It’s been tough financially for us and we’ve had to depend on support from our sponsors in the last four matches.
“I personally understand the players should be paid what they are owed because we’ve always ensure prompt payment in the past.
“They’ve shown remarkable professionalism, if they can just bear with us, this is something I am hoping to resolve as soon as possible.”
The Super Eagles squad were said to be planning to boycott the second leg of the AFCON qualifier game with Sierra Leone.
“Our initial plan was to address it before the game in Sierra Leone but we all saw what happened,” one player told BBC Sport Africa as he insisted on anonymity.
“I don’t think they [NFF officials] can keep quiet if they’re unpaid by their bosses. They’re quick to blame the players for defeats but happy to celebrate the success of the team.
“If the players go on strike they blame us for being money hungry and selfish yet this is money they owe us.
“There are [training] camp allowances and match bonuses not paid to us and the technical crew since July 2019 and that’s not good.”
Another player who also pleaded anonymity told the medium that the federation was playing games with them and not being straight forward in their dealings.
“NFF officials continue to ignore the players. Some players who played at the Nations Cup are no longer here and those players are also asking questions about the payments,” the Europe-based player said.
“First, they said we will get it, then they blamed the pandemic for their inability to pay but it’s untrue. They want us to forget this money but that’s unprofessionally heartless and wicked on their part.”