5 times Nigeria threatened to boycott an important match over unpaid allowances

5 times Nigeria threatened to boycott an important match over unpaid allowances

One of the contending issues eating deep into Nigerian football is unpaid bonuses which has brought about the row between the players and administration.

Those at the receiving end of this saga are the players, coaches, and ex-internationals as all parties complain about not being remunerated for making the country proud.

The crisis of bonuses and allowances has cost Nigeria to progress further in some competitions leaving their darling fans sulking after reaping from the consequences of not focusing on getting the job done.

NAIJ.com examines the popular bonuses conflict between the Nigeria football governing body and those directly involved concerning money.

1. The Super Eagles of France 98’

After a promising start to the campaign in the World Cup, the Super Eagles qualified as group leaders ahead of Paraguay and football under achievers Spain.

However, many thought the round of 16 encounter with Denmark was a walk-over owing to the giant-killing display at the group phase, but members of the squad were more concerned about their bonuses.

This single line of action distracted the team from focusing on their next opponent and the officials who were on ground could not clear the air about the player’s complaint.

5 times Nigeria threatened to boycott an important match over unpaid allowances

France 1998 squad. Photo: FIFA

Nigeria were eliminated in an embarrassing manner as the Danes walloped the Bora Milutinovic led team 1-4 to prove doubters wrong about being the underdog in the match.

In a reaction to the player’s attitude, former international Sunday Oliseh said that the eyebrows raised by his teammates were unnecessary and avoidable.

“We wasted too much energy on the eve of our game haggling over bonus, something like that should not be the focus at a big tournament like the World Cup. We lost that game off the pitch and not on the pitch,” Oliseh told BBC Sport.

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2. 2013 Confederation Cup

Nigeria emerged Champions of Africa once again at the 2013 AFCON tournament in South Africa which gave the team an automatic qualification for the Confederation’s Cup in Brazil.

This was a tournament that would help the late Stephen Keshi side prepare for the soccer fiesta the following year.

The team decided not to travel for the tournament if their outstanding dues were not fully paid which were the bonuses from the match against the Namibians that ended in a 1-1 stalemate in Windhoek.

5 times Nigeria threatened to boycott an important match over unpaid allowances

Nigeria squad. Photo: NFF

Players demanded $10,000 but the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) offered $2,500 which the group vehemently refused.

Like the usual last minute approach, funds were raised before Nigeria filed out against the Tahitian football team two days before kickoff.

Eventually the Super Eagles crashed out of the first round trailing Spain and Uruguay in the group who both recorded victories over the African Champions.

3. The round of 16 match against France at the 2014 World Cup

Nigerians were already basking in the euphoria of reaching her third second round qualification and aiming to break jinx of moving to the quarter finals with France standing in their way.

However, the boys boycotted training in the build up to their round of 16 clash against Les Blues, as they pressed home their demands for their unpaid dues. Initially the Aminu Maigari NFF had promised the team $10,000 for a win, $5,000 for a draw, $2,500 for a loss and $3,000 for qualifying into the next stage.

5 times Nigeria threatened to boycott an important match over unpaid allowances

Super Eagles World cup squad in Brazil 2014. Photo: FIFA

All of these remunerations were yet to be received before the former President and Head of state Goodluck Jonathan waded in.

But sadly, the Super Eagles crashed out losing 0-2 to the French side, and the fairy tale story ended leaving the whole team administration in tatters.

Following Nigeria's qualification for Russia 2018 World cup, Super Eagles gaffer Gernot Rohr has warned against another pay strike at the World Cup, if the country hoped to improve on their previous outings at the global tournament.

Rohr, 64, said he believes the three-time African champions can improve on their best World Cup performance of a round of 16 by better and early preparation as well as ensuring money issues are sorted out well in advance.

READ ALSO: 10 Super Eagles players who failed to live up to expectations

The Franco-German coach, said he believes that with a fully prepared and united team both on and off the pitch, Nigeria can expect their best performance at next year’s tournament.

He said: “If we want to do something at the World Cup, we have to prepare well.

“We want everybody who wants to be part of the team to show the same solidarity we currently have in the team.

“More importantly, we don’t want the issue of money to be a problem.

“The issue of bonuses and allowances, which are the usual African problem we see during the World Cup, must be avoided.

“Such issues will be bad for our preparation.

“I have told my officials and the federation president that all (such issues) be cleared before the start of the competition.”

4. The Rio 2016 quarter final match against Denmark

Going back and forth to how the team camped and were cash-strapped in the United States to when they arrived on the match-day against Japan, the writing on the wall was that the U-23 team were hanging on the balance.

With self-will and determination, Samson Siasia’s boys made it through to the quarter finals to face Denmark but the player’s match bonuses were not yet paid and the coach’s five month salary so the team did not prepare for the match ahead.

5 times Nigeria threatened to boycott an important match over unpaid allowances

Nigeria Dream Team VI squad. Photo: Goal

“We have only been paid allowances for 11 days. There is no match bonus. What about all the months we have been training in Nigeria and Atlanta? That’s not fair.

“Everything is upside down and the boys don’t want to play anymore. Whatever they want to do, I’m with them. They are right for fighting for their rights.

“I cannot do more than what I have done to get this team up to this level. I have done my best and now I am tired.” Siasia raged on a local radio station.

The aim of achieving a second ever gold medal in football was dashed as Dream Team VI were knocked out by the eventual silver medalists, Germany in the semis.

5. Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier against Zambia

Nigeria flagged off her campaign against Zambia in Ndola and prior to the arrival of the players NFF promised to pay their monies (traveling allowances and bonuses) before taking-off to Ndola.

The story changed as the players insisted that unless they were paid they will not travel for the match against the Chipolopolo.

5 times Nigeria threatened to boycott an important match over unpaid allowances

Nigeria squad against Zambia in Ndola. Photo: NFF

It took the intervention of oil magnate and owner of Nigeria’s richest football club, Chief Ifeayi Ubah who pacified the team that everything will be settled.

Their actions were inconsequential to the result of the match in Ndola as the Super Eagles came home with maximum points after recording a 2-1 victory.

Nigeria Super Eagles qualify for 2018 FIFA World cup - on NAIJ.com TV

Source: Sports.naija.ng

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