Shehu Dikko, the second vice-president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), has denied an allegation that they owed the women’s team outstanding bonuses and allowances
The Super Falcons crashed out of the Women’s World Cup following a 3-0 defeat to Germany in the Round of 16 at Stade des Alpes in Grenoble on Saturday.
After their elimination from the competition, Thomas Dennerby’s ladies refused to vacate their hotel and staged a sit-in protest, demanging their unpaid bonuses in France on Sunday.
The Kaduna-born football administrator explained the efforts made amidst its financial challenges to ensure the Super Falcons had a smooth campaign in France.
“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,” Dikko said in a statement to the press..
“The monies for the Super Falcons’ preparation and participation at the FIFA Women’s World Cup finals in France were recently approved by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari. But the release of the funds is still being processing by the Federal Ministry of Finance and will be concluded soonest.
“Inspite of the delay in release of funds, the NFF made huge sacrifices including borrowing to ensure it gave the Falcons the very best of preparation for the World Cup in France with about 15 test games, with camps/games held in China, Cyprus, Spain, CIV, and Austria.
“The NFF is indeed encouraged by results achieved by the Super Falcons in France, being the first time the team qualified to the knockout rounds in the last 20 years with credible performance against some of the world’s best teams.
“The NFF duly ensured it addressed all the issues raised by the team captain Desire Oparanozie via an email prior to the team resuming in camp in Austria and used it best efforts, to settle all the players’ claims and bonuses to so as to provide an enabling platform for the players to perform without any distractions in France for the World Cup.
“Therefore, based on the foregoing facts, as at the time the Super Falcons set out to play Germany on Saturday 22nd June, the NFF had in spite of the challenges, ensured it met all its obligations to the players. 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.
“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.
“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 $1 million from FIFA.
“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 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.”
The Super Falcons will arrive in Nigeria on Monday following their exit from the Women’s World Cup in France.