Nigeria Football Federation

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) have denied owing the Super Falcons after the players staged a sit-in protest at their hotel in France after their 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup round-of-16 exit in the hands of Germany on Saturday, June 22.

After their 3-0 loss against Germany on Saturday, the Super Falcons refused to leave their hotel in Grenoble, France in protest over unpaid bonuses and allowances.

The NFF in a statement on Sunday, June 23 however expressed shock over the development and deny owing any match bonus and allowances.

We have paid the players and officials the entitlements due them for the tournament and other outstanding bonuses and allowances were settled before the team arrived at the World Cup finals,” Shehu Dikko, NFF’s second Vice President said in the statement.

ESPN had reported that the players were protesting over outstanding bonuses which run into N2m from two games, against Gambia and Senegal, from as far back as two years ago.

The other monies that the players were demanding include camp allowances for five days in France and their part of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup participation money the federation will get from FIFA.

The NFF in their statement revealed that they paid the Super Falcons a win bonus of N500, 000 per player after their home win over Senegal in 2016 Women Africa Cup of Nations (AWCON) qualifier and the same amount for the home win in an AWCON 2018 qualifier against the Gambia.

The NFF also revealed that they paid the sum of N1.7m ($4900) to each player for seven days’ daily allowance for camp and friendly games in Spain before the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, N179, 500 ($500) per player as daily allowances for the 2019 WAFU Women’s Cup in Cote d’Ivoire and N502, 000 ( $1,400) per player for 14 days’ allowances at the pre-World Cup camp in Austria.

The NFF also revealed that they had made refunds to players on visa procurement, train, bus and airport taxi from their different bases in Europe to the camp in Austria.

Also at the World Cup, the Super Falcons players had each received N1.5m ($4400) as win bonus for the game against South Korea and N502, 000 ($1400) as 14 days’ daily allowance which was paid direct to each of the players’ domiciliary accounts by NFF fund managers, Financial Derivatives Company.

The NFF also revealed that money approved by President Muhammadu Buhari for the Super Falcons preparation and participation at the 2019 World Cup is still being processed and that they had to borrow to ensure the team had the best preparations.

The Super Falcons had also demanded camp allowances in France and part of the participation money the NFF will get from FIFA.

The NFF in their own response say that they would have been unable to pay the daily allowances when the days are unknown.

After the team’s exit from the tournament due to defeat by Germany, the only money the NFF has to pay the players is the extra 5 days’ daily allowance of $500 to each player for the days spent from the end of group stage to the day they played Germany in Grenoble,” the NFF said in their statement.

“Daily allowance is usually paid only when the days are known, as we could have defeated Germany and thus stayed more days in the tournament. Accordingly, these payments will be resolved within the next business days upon return of the team to Nigeria.”

The Super Falcons players have claimed that they have been informed that their English and Cameroonian counterparts have been received payment from the participation money from FIFA but the NFF insist that they told the players that this fund would only be available to the NFF after the tournament.

After the loss to Germany, the players raised the issue of their share of the prize money expected from FIFA. For qualifying to the Round of 16, the NFF is entitled to receive $1million from FIFA (being $750k qualification bonus and $250k for exiting at Round of 16.),” part of NFF’s statement read.

The NFF duly reconfirmed to the team that they would be entitled to get 30% share of the fund from FIFA just like the men’s teams get (Super Eagles for World Cup/AFCON and Eagles B for CHAN) and were informed that these funds would only be available to NFF post-World Cup. The issue of sharing formula with the team was as clarified and the matter was closed.”

Amazingly, the players later came to inform the NFF officials with the team that they heard that Cameroon and England teams have already been paid their share of participation fees by their Federations, and thus demand NFF paid them.

They were informed that, if indeed Cameroon and England paid their players it was certainly not from FIFA money but other sources and there are 22 other countries that have not paid as well.

The players have however agreed to leave their hotel after an all-night meeting with NFF officials with some en route Nigeria while others are on their way to different holiday destinations.