The Nigeria Football Federation have promised to pay players and officials of the Super Falcons all their entitlements for winning the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations for the eighth time, the governing body said in a release made available to Completesportsnigeria.com on Tuesday.
The NFF sought the understanding of the team, explaining that the money is not available at the moment.
NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, who met with the players and officials at the Agura Hotel on Tuesday, said the federation is not happy owing players and coaches, but the present severe economic challenges mean they it can only continue to seek the understanding of the players, as well as hoteliers, travel agents and management and staff until the situation improves.
“There is no gainsaying that there are severe economic challenges and all organisations, whether government or private, are feeling the pinch,” Sanusi said.
“It is not government’s doing; it is not anybody’s doing. We know we have financial commitments 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 NFF, 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 U-17 boys who won the FIFA U-17 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 recalled that the Super Eagles were owed for the match against Tanzania and were paid when funds for that match were made available by government.
“As I speak with you, we are still owing the Super Eagles for the matches against Zambia and Algeria, but the memos have gone to government and are being looked at,” he added.
“We must commend the Minister (Solomon Dalung). He has been energetically pushing the cases of the various national teams. We did the memo for the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in October and it is being processed as we speak.
“We are also working to get monies outstanding from former sponsors of the national teams, to complement what we are expecting from Government.
“In relation to all this, we are in the process of sorting out our TSA domiciliary accounts so that we can receive our due grants from FIFA and CAF, including the $80,000 prize money from the AWCON, once it is available.”
Sanusi claimed that the players did receive some payment in Cameroon in contrast to reports that they were not paid anything.
“This morning, I was reading a report that the Federation is yet to pay the Super Falcons one kobo. That is not correct. While the team was in Cameroon, the NFF sourced for money from one of our sponsors and paid the players N500,000 each, and also paid the technical crew and backroom staff.”
While praising the Falcons for their total dedication to duty in Cameroon despite low morale, Sanusi confirmed that the NFF is waiting for word from the Government to know when the African champions will 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.