From Glory on the Pitch to Financial Strife: NFF Faces Backlash Over Unsettled Salaries - The Trent

2023-08-09 19:00:05

The Trent

ABUJA, Nigeria - The financial predicament facing the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, deepened as it conceded its inability to settle dues owed to the women's national football team, known as the Super Falcons.

The crux of the issue stems from the federation's failure to receive anticipated payments from FIFA.

Colin Udoh, a former media representative for the Super Eagles, shed light on the matter on Twitter on Tuesday, August 8, 2023.

He recounted a conversation with NFF president, Ibrahim Musa Gusau, who acknowledged the financial bottleneck.

Gusau expressed hope that the federation's portion of the FIFA World Cup funds, once received, would be utilized to square off the pending dues to the Super Falcons.

Additionally, the NFF president stated that while the federal government had approved their request for funds, the actual disbursement had yet to take place.

Udoh clarified the distinction between the terms "approval" and "release" when dealing with Nigerian governmental agencies.

An anonymous senior NFF official further elucidated that the delay in settling the dues lies with the non-receipt of the anticipated funds.

The most recent FIFA payment was utilized to offset salaries owed to national team coaches, namely Peseiro and Waldrum.

Importantly, it was underscored that these FIFA funds were specifically designated for settling player dues.

The escalating dispute between the NFF and Randy Waldrum's team over unpaid salaries and bonuses reached international ears, leading FIFPRO, the global players' union, to issue a statement.

The union expressed regret that players had to confront their national federation during such a pivotal time in the sport.

Nigeria's Super Falcons held their ground against the highly-favoured Three Lionesses of England during the Round of 16 in the 2023 Women's World Cup.

The match occurred on Monday, August 7, 2023, in Brisbane, Australia.

Contrary to the expectations of pundits, who predicted a complete victory for England, the Super Falcons, currently ranked number 40 in the world, fought vigorously.

The Falcons held the Three Lionesses, the world's fourth-best female national team, to a goalless draw for 90 minutes, pushing the game into extra time.

The subsequent 30 minutes of extra time saw neither team score, pushing the match into a deciding penalty shootout.

Nigeria missed two kicks, while England missed only one, resulting in a 4-2 win for the English team.

With this loss, the Super Falcons, who have qualified for the Women's World Cup six times, missed the chance to become the first African nation to make it to the competition's quarter-finals.

In the initial rounds of the tournament, England finished top in Group D, while Nigeria secured second place in Group B.

Prior to this nail-biting encounter, the Super Falcons and Three Lionesses had met twice in the competition, with England coming out on top both times with a 3-2 victory.

Despite their loss, the Super Falcons' commendable performance against one of the world's top teams is a sign of women's football's continuous growth and strength in Africa.

2023-08-09 News