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Ex-Super Falcons player, Avre cries foul over alleged disappearance of ₦10million reward for class of ‘99

By Gowon Akpodonor
05 January 2022   |   4:08 am
Former Super Falcons winger, U.S.-based Patience Avre, has alleged that the N10 million reward offered by the Chairman of Air Peace, Allen Onyeama, for the 1999 class during an award ceremony in Lagos ...

Patience Avre of Nigeria kicks the ball against the USA during the FIFA Women’s World Cup match at Lincoln Financial Field on September 25, 2003 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo: AFP)

Former Super Falcons winger, U.S.-based Patience Avre, has alleged that the ₦10 million reward offered by the Chairman of Air Peace, Allen Onyeama, for the 1999 class during an award ceremony in Lagos last year has been diverted into private pocket by some of her teammates.

Late last year, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) honoured the 1999 set of the Super Falcons for their quality performances as the first Nigerian team to reach the quarterfinal at the FIFA World Cup. The team, led by coach Ismaila Mabo, narrowly missed the semifinal ticket at USA ’99 to Brazil.

In addition to the sum of $1,000 promised the players by the NFF, the Chairman of Air Peace, Onyeama, rewarded the players with ₦10millon.

However, Avre, who could not make it to the award ceremony in Lagos, as she just delivered a baby, alleged yesterday that some of her teammates pocketed the N10million.

In a video made available to The Guardian yesterday, Avre vowed to get to the root of what she described as ‘major scandal’ in the Super Falcons class of ’99.

“I won’t take this rubbish from anybody,” Avre said. “I made the Super Falcons squad on merit, and I did not sleep with any coach before I was selected for a major tournament. I played a major role at USA ’99 FIFA World Cup, and anybody holding on to my share of the N10 million largesse must be ready to face embarrassment. I will go any length to expose them. They won’t like what they will see.”

No official of the NFF was available to speak on the issue yesterday, but the husband of one of the players, a journalist, (names withheld), tried to justify why those who could not make it to the award ceremony in Lagos were left out in the sharing.

“When they were asked to come from USA, some of them asked me if they would be paid for attending. I explained that when FIFA does awards and honours players they don’t pay them to attend. They only buy tickets and provide accommodation.”