An executive committee member of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) who pleaded anonymity said: “the players should stop acting as if they are traitors. They are not living in the moon. They are aware of the precarious financial situation of NFF in recent time.”
He explained that the federation had good reasons to slash the players’ bonuses and it is not a secret in Nigeria, saying that the decision is temporal which will not last beyond the Confederations Cup
“It is a naughty issue that must be thoroughly trashed out before the crucial last World Cup qualifier match against the Flames of Malawi in Calabar in September,” he explained.
“We have clarified this issue oftentimes that the federation is really financially constrained. To put it mildly, the body is broke. We are just managing to stay afloat in the scheme of things. It was the major reason that led to the reduction of the number of backroom staff for the team shortly after the last Africa Nations Cup in South Africa.”
He further emphasised that NFF is passing through lots of difficulties as the body receives only N1.5 billion annually from the government to prosecute all its programmes which is a far cry from reality.
“It is obvious that the NFF does not just take care of the Super Eagles only. There are Super Falcons and other junior national teams to take care of in either the qualifiers or in the global football summit. Remember that there are also the Beach Eagles.”
The visibly worried Glass House bigwig revealed further that the body expends as much as N120 million for each home international engagement of the Super Eagles and also N150 million on each of its away games.
“Let me still remind members of the Super Eagles that the motive of national team assignment should not be tied to money, rather, patriotism, nationalism and the passion to represent ones country should remain uppermost,” he stated.
He recalled what he described as the exemplary attitude of South African national team players, the Bafana Bafana during the Cup of Nations when they resolved not to ask for any bonus untill the team reached the quarter- finals stage.
“That’s how it should be. National team duty should not be seen as an avenue to make more money rather their respective club sides should serve as such avenues,” he counselled.