Some squad members of the Super Falcons have told The PUNCH that they are yet to be paid their outstanding 2022 WAFCON win bonuses three months after the competition in Morocco.
The nine-time African champions boycotted training in the North African country in July to protest their unpaid allowances just before their WAFCON third-place clash against Zambia in Casablanca.
The players returned to training after they were reportedly paid part of their camp allowances, with a promise by the Nigeria Football Federation and the sports ministry to clear the outstanding balance, as well as their win bonuses.
But some of the players claimed that while they’ve not been paid their bonuses for winning three matches at the tournament, with some also yet to get full payment of their $1,500 camp allowance.
“Can you believe that we are still owed our WAFCON bonuses? In Morocco our camp allowance was $1,500 per player. They paid us $1,000 each and said they would pay the remaining $500 into players’ accounts. Do you know that some players have not received theirs? I was lucky to get mine, but some others haven’t been given their balance of $500, I think about two of them. It’s demoralising,” one of the senior members of the squad, who spoke on condition of anonymity, stated.
Another member of the squad, who also asked not to be named, added that despite all their moves to ensure payment, they’ve been left frustrated.
“We’ve laid our complaints for a long time now, but they keep telling us that they are working on it. We’ve spoken with the coach about it too,” our source said.
“On match bonuses, we won three matches, we are supposed to be paid for the three games, but we’ve not been paid. All we hear is that the Federal Government hasn’t approved the money, while we also hear that the money has been approved. We are confused.
“When we played the US last month, the former NFF president Amaju Pinnick was there, and he told us that he will ensure our money is paid before he left. But as I speak with you, we haven’t been paid and we haven’t heard anything. There’s no communication, nobody is talking to us concerning the payment.”
During the players protest in Morocco, media aide to the sports minister, Toyin Ibitoye, confirmed that the process to release the funds for payment was on.
“The issue has been addressed by the Nigeria Football Federation and the girls now understand that even when the football governing body presents a budget, the payment goes through a process and they need to be patient,” Ibitoye told The PUNCH in July.
On when the players will receive their bonuses, Ibitoye added, “I’m not sure when they will get their money because it is the finance ministry that can decide that, but what is due them will definitely be paid. There is a process through which the government gives approval for funds to be made available for any project like that. There is nothing anybody can do until those processes are concluded, then money will get to them.
“The ministry and the NFF are working together to ensure that the process are done faster, even the Super Eagles go through the same process. Sometimes we pay them months after tournaments and they don’t complain.”