- Super Falcons have reportedly seized the AWCON 2016 trophy following the NFF inability to pay their bonuses and allowances
- NFF offered to give the players N50000 each as transport fare but they rejected
- The players vowed to remain at the hotel until their money is paid
The Super Falcons of Nigeria have revealed that they have seized the African Women Cup of Nations (AWCON) until the authorities concerned offset their match bonuses and allowances.
According to a report on New Telegraph, a meeting between the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the victorious Falcons ended in fiasco as the players vowed to remain at their Agora hotel in Abuja until their money is paid.
The drama started when the NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, visited the team and told them that there was no money to pay.
This reportedly infuriated the players as they vowed to remain at the hotel until their money is paid.
They even grabbed the trophy they won and vowed not to release it until they are paid.
A source who was at the meeting said: “Pinnick was trying to pacify the players to exercise patience that they will be paid soon, but they (the players) asked him to be specific and the manner those of them asked the question got the NFF boss angry.
“The NFF boss was not happy with the way the stars were handling the issue and made some statements that also infuriated the players. I won’t tell you what Pinnick said because it is better you people don’t write those things.”
It was gathered that Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, the NFF general secretary, had earlier visited the team and also begged the players to be patient.
Sanusi attempted to give them N50000 each as transport fare but the players rejected.
Sanusi was quoted to have said at the meeting that: “I have come to appeal to you, to understand the situation of the federation and the country at the moment and exercise patience.
“We will pay you all monies you are being owed as soon as we receive same from the government, just as we paid the U-17 boys who won the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile last year, after the tournament.
“And just as we sorted out Coach Samson Siasia’s wages as soon as we had the funds, after the Olympics.
“We know we have financial commitment to you (players and officials of Super Falcons) and we have not at any time stated otherwise. But the money is not readily available at the moment.”
Sanusi said the NFF had embarked on aggressive drive to find a permanent solution to the issue of owing players and coaches.
“In relation to all these, we are in the process of sorting out our TSA domiciliary accounts so that we can receive our due grants from FIFA and CAF, including the $80,000 prize money from the AWCON, once it is available.”
But speaking on the condition of anonymity, one of the players said: “We are aware of what happened to the U-17 and U-20 female teams who left with empty promises and we do not want to have the same experience.
“Before we left there were promises they made and until they fulfill them we will remain in this place.”
According to reports in some quarters, the debt the NFF owed each of the 23 players excluding the officials in allowances and match bonuses since the team started camping for the tournament amounted to $25,000 (about N11.25 million).
Recall that striker Francis Ordega lamented that they have done Nigeria honour by winning the AWCON trophy for the 8th time after a bruising battle with Cameroon, but Nigeria have failed to treat the team in the right manner.
She said: “If I had not played for Nigeria at full international level, trust me I would have played somewhere else.
“The U-17 and U-20 teams have been blamed for the performances at their recent World Cups, but they were poorly prepared for these competitions.
“If this continues, Nigeria will soon cease to be a force in Africa because there will be no future Super Falcons.”