Nigeria’s football fans’ hope of seeing Super Eagles play against the Syli Nationale of Guinea in their 2nd group B match today may have experienced a large obstruction as the players, yesterday, objected over bonuses that has not been paid.
The three-time African champions struggled to defeat Burundi in their first game which they won 1-0. They could clinch the ticket to the Round of 16 if they overcome their Guinean counterparts in today’s match in Alexandria, Egypt.
But instead of focusing on their preparation as well as methods for the game which will coming up today, Super Eagles went on to grumble regarding their unpaid bonuses.
Ahmed Musa failed to show up for yesterday’s pre-match conference ahead of the match, as the Al-Nassr of Saudi Arabia player preferred to stay back with his colleagues for a ‘crucial’ player’s meeting at the Helnan Palestine Hotel.
“The player showed solidarity and had to stay back for an important meeting,” said coach Rohr when quizzed by the media.
Unpaid bonuses are not new under Amaju Pinnick-led board of the Nigeria Football Federation
(NFF). First, it was the national U-20 team, Flying Eagles
that embarked on a sit-in protest and refused to leave Poland after their elimination from the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland
Recently, the Nigeria women’s senior national team, Super Falcons
which was kicked out of the Women’s World Cup in France, declined to leave their hotel until all outstanding bonuses were paid – a claim the NFF denied, insisting Thomas Dennerby’s ladies were not owed.
Meanwhile, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has confirmed receiving part of the money approved by the Federal Government for participation of the national teams in international competitions, including the Super Eagles’ participation at the ongoing 32nd Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
NFF’s 1st vice president, Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi, said yesterday that the federation received part of the money on Tuesday morning and had immediately launched the process to convert the sum to American Dollars to pay the players their entitlements– the win bonus for the match against Burundi in Alexandria on Saturday evening – and for subsequent matches.
“We want to specially thank His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari for his keen interest in resolving this matter quickly, which has enabled us to receive part of the money in record time. We have immediately started the process of converting the money to American Dollars at the Central Bank in order to pay the players the bonus for the win over Burundi three days ago as well as plan for subsequent games.”
Akinwunmi did not waste time to commend the maturity of the team and also its leaders, including captain Mikel John Obi and also for their unflinching concentration on the task available which is to emerge winner of the AFCON competition.
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