Falcons’ protest borne out of miscommunication, says NFF
Nigeria players are staging a sit-in protest, refusing to leave their hotel in France until all of their outstanding bonuses are paid, following the team’s elimination from the Women’s World Cup on Saturday, reports ESPN.
Players told ESPN they were owed bonuses from two games, against Gambia and Senegal, from as far back as two years ago, amounting to N2 million (about $5,600 U.S.), but they have been paid only half of that. They also say they are owed five days of daily allowance while at the World Cup.
“They paid us N1 million and said that is all. We want them to pay the balance,” one player told ESPN. “Part of that money is from two years ago, the other is from three years ago. And they are also owing us five days’ daily allowance here in France.
“Before the World Cup, we asked them for a meeting so that we could discuss our World Cup bonuses, like they did with the men’s team last year. They ignored the letter and nobody said anything about it until now.”
The players are also demanding their share of the World Cup participation fee from FIFA, even though the tournament’s organisers are not scheduled to pay those until September.
Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President, Amaju Pinnick told ESPN that all the outstanding allowances have been paid.“We have paid them everything they are being owed,” he said. Nigeria reached the knockout stage of the Women’s World Cup before losing to Germany in the round of 16 on Saturday.
“The only thing outstanding is the participation fee from FIFA, which is not expected to come until after the tournament. But they insist that they want to get paid, as they have spoken to players from Cameroun and France, who told them they have already been paid.”
Pinnick said the issue had come down to a misunderstanding. “As far as we are concerned, that is a non-issue as the bonuses they are asking for have been paid. The problem is that the players wanted to be paid the bonuses for home matches in US dollars, but that is no longer the rule under this government.
“All transactions for home games must be paid in naira.”FIFA had stepped in on Sunday morning after the players missed their transport to Paris and subsequently their flights, and the NFF were advised that any further expenses incurred by the team’s continued stay would be deducted from their participation fee.
The women’s national team have since ended their protest and left their hotel in France, following their exit from the World Cup.
The players are expected to arrive in Abuja today.Nigeria reached the knockout stage of the Women’s World Cup in France before losing 3-0 to Germany in the round of 16 on Saturday in Grenoble.
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