The entitlements for the victorious Super Falcons team who last weekend won the 2016 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations in Cameroon, is not “readily available”, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has said.
The NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, who made this revelation when he met with the players and officials in Abuja, however assured them that they will be paid all they are being owed.
He commended the team for their understanding, stressing that the Federation was not happy owing the players and officials.
“There is no gainsaying that there is severe economic challenges and all organizations, whether government or private, are feeling the pinch. It is not Government’s doing; it is not anybody’s doing,” he said.
“We know we have financial commitment to you [players and officials of Super Falcons] and we have not at anytime stated otherwise. But the money is not readily available at the moment.
“I have come to appeal to you, to understand the situation of the Federation, to understand the situation of the country at the present and exercise patience.
“We will pay you all monies you are being owed as soon as we receive same from the Government, just as we paid the U17 boys who won the FIFA U17 World Cup in Chile last year, after the tournament. And just as we sorted out Coach Samson Siasia’s wages as soon as we had the funds, after the Olympics.”
Sanusi also confirmed that the NFF was waiting for word from the government to know when the African champions would be hosted to a state reception.
“The reception is out of our hands. We are waiting on the Federal Government, and as soon as we have confirmation of the date, we will inform the players and officials to regroup in Abuja.”
In 2014 when the Falcons won their seventh African title, they never got the attention they deserved and while fears of a repeat is already being nursed in some quarters.
Already, USA-based forward Francisca Ordega admitted on Tuesday that she regrets playing for Nigeria’s senior women national team, noting that she would have opted for another country if there was a chance.
However, the Minister for Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, promised the girls that the the government will step up the reward system for sportsmen and women who make the nation proud.