Izilien renews battle with NFF over unpaid wages
We can’t trace his files, says Chris Green
Throughout 2004, there was perhaps no more beloved and famous coach in Nigeria than Godwin Izilien. He was almost the sole reason why many Nigerians cared about women football. He led the Super Falcons to win the African Nations Cup in Johannesburg, South Africa, the fourth AWC title for Nigeria.
Soon after the victory, Izilien’s legacy and good name were thrown into the trash bin by his employer, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF). And for 13 years, the coach, now 75 years old, and the rest of his coaching crew, are still being owed salary arrears of over $28,750, out of which, $12,000 belongs to Izilien. That was aside the sum of N4 million.
Izilien was full of hope when he got the news of the partnership with Aiteo Group last month. But as the NFF began the process of clearing wages owed to national team coaches, Izilien’s name is not listed among those owed by the federation. The reason is that his file cannot be traced.
Speaking with The Guardian on phone from his base in Benin City yesterday, Izilien said: “I have been calling the chairman of the NFF Technical Committee, Barrister Chris Green to enquire about my money since they began the process of settling my colleagues, but he refused to answer his calls.
I have sent several text messages to him and there is no response. Does it mean these people don’t want to pay me after all the sacrifices I made for the country in 2004?” he queried.
Coach Izilien has however vowed that he would not relent in pushing for his money until the NFF settles him.
He said: “If it means writing to Aitoe Group over my predicament, I will have to do so.