By Richard Jideaka, Abuja:
The Super Eagles left camp for Christmas break on Wednesday with the coaches and officials wearing long faces following the inability of the Nigeria Football Federation to offset their salaries of several months.
Only last week, the Minister of Youth and Sports Solomon Dalung had appealed to the NFF to pay national teams coaches all their outstanding salaries and allowances to enable them to celebrate the Christmas happily with their families.
During the week, the coaches' hopes were raised with reports in the media that the NFF were set to offset all their allowances and salaries to the tune of N30 million.
Completesports can report that this did not happen as the NFF could not raise money to offset the debts owed the coaches of the Super Eagles, U-23 Eagles and those of the national women's Under-20 and U-17 teams including the backlog of other serving and former national teams coaches.
Coaches of senior national team who left for a three-day Christmas break grumbling over the non-fulfilling of the directive of the minister to pay them their salaries and allowances.
"We are going to see our families during this Christmas holiday without money," one of the coaches told Complete Sports. "It is so bad that we are being owed our salaries for months. It is all service to our fatherland, one will say, but if we don't deliver, we'll be fired.
"Well, they told us that we will be paid as soon as possible and we have no choice than to wait and see how it turns out."
Meanwhile, a number of the players and the foreign assistant coach stayed back in the camp in Abuja.
Efforts to reach the NFF General Secretary Sanusi Mohammed on the phone for confirmation proved abortive as he was reported to have travelled for the holidays.
Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone from Etisalat. Enjoy high speed mobile broadband on our easyblaze and plans for BlackBerry. Visit www.etisalat.com.ng for details.