Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Falcons Seize Trophy, Reject NFF’s N50,000 Allowance

The drama surrounding the payment of
match bonuses and allowances of Super
Falcons by the Nigeria Football Federation
gets messier yesterday (Tuesday) as the
players threatened to hold onto the African
Women Cup of Nations trophy they won
last Saturday.
The NFF had promised to pay the players
and the officials on Monday when they
returned to the country on Sunday after
claiming their eighth AWCON title in
Cameroon, but officials of the soccer
federation did not even show up at the
Agora Hotel, Abuja where they lodged the
team on the said day let alone give them
money.
Our correspondent learnt on Tuesday that
things almost got out of hand when the
NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, eventually
visited the team and told them that there
was no money to pay.
Sources at the meeting told New Telegraph
that the meeting almost ended in fiasco as
the players vowed to remain at the hotel
until their money is paid.
They even grabbed the trophy they won
and vowed not to release it until they are
paid. “Pinnick was trying to pacify the
players to exercise patience that they will
be paid soon, but they (the players) asked
him to be specific and the manner those of
them asked the question got the NFF boss
angry,” a source who was at the meeting
told New Telegraph.
“The NFF boss was not happy with the way
the stars were handling the issue and made
some statements that also infuriated the
players. I won’t tell you what Pinnick said
because it is better you people don’t write
those things.” The NFF General Secretary,
Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, had earlier visited
the team and also begged the players to be
patient.
He attempted to give them N50,000 each as
transport fare which they rejected. One of
the players, who did not want her name in
print, said they would stay until concrete
arrangement is reached on the payment.
“We are aware of what happened to the
U-17 and U-20 female teams who left with
empty promises and we do not want to
have the same ex-perience.
Before we left there were promises they
made and until they fulfill them we will
remain in this place,” she said.
In a statement released by the federation,
Sanusi was quoted to have said at the
meeting that: “I have come to appeal to
you, to understand the situation of the
federation and the country at the moment
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.” He added that: “We
know we have financial commitment to
you (players and officials of Super Falcons)
and we have not at any time stated
otherwise. But the money is not readily
available at the moment.”
Sanusi said the NFF had embarked on
aggressive drive to find a permanent
solution to the issue of owing players and
coaches. “In relation to all these, 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.”
Meanwhile, Sanusi has confirmed that the
NFF is waiting for words from the Federal
Government on 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.

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