In a shocking revelation, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has confessed to experiencing financial difficulties amidst an ongoing dispute with the women’s national team over unpaid wages. The NFF claims that it is currently “broke” and can only disburse the funds owed to the players if additional payments are received from FIFA.
Renowned sports journalist and former media officer of the Super Eagles, Colin Udoh, took to Twitter to disclose this development. He shared that he had recently spoken with NFF President Ibrahim Musa Gusau, who shed light on the situation regarding the outstanding payments owed to the Super Falcons.
According to Udoh, President Gusau explained that the NFF is currently facing severe financial constraints. However, he assured Udoh that once the FIFA World Cup funds are allocated to the NFF, the women’s national team would receive their long-overdue payments. President Gusau also revealed that the NFF had requested financial assistance from the federal government, which had been approved but had not yet been disbursed.
Anyone familiar with dealing with the Nigerian government understands that approving funds does not necessarily guarantee their release, as bureaucracy often prolongs the process. However, President Gusau’s reassurance brings a glimmer of hope to the Super Falcons and their supporters.
In an effort to add clarity to the situation, Udoh further spoke to a senior official from the NFF, who confirmed that the involvement of FIFPRO, the global players’ union, would not change the disbursement timeline. The official emphasized that the players would be paid once either the FIFA allocation or the government funds come through.
It was revealed that the NFF has not received any funding since its last payment from FIFA, which was utilized to settle a portion of the national teams’ coaches’ wages. The FIFA funds have already been earmarked to cover the outstanding payments owed to the players.
The lingering dispute between Randy Waldrum, the coach of the women’s national team, and the NFF has further strained the relationship. Waldrum and his players have been pushing for their unpaid salaries and bonuses, resulting in FIFPRO issuing a statement expressing their solidarity with the Super Falcons.
FIFPRO lamented that players find themselves in a position where they have to challenge their own federation regarding payment issues, especially during such a crucial time. The statement shed light on the unfortunate situation faced by the players, who have dedicated themselves to representing Nigeria in international competitions.
The NFF’s financial struggles have now come to the forefront as players and coaching staff anxiously await their rightful payments. This revelation raises concerns about the financial stability of the organization and its ability to fulfill its obligations towards the development of Nigerian football.
As the standoff continues, it remains to be seen when the long-awaited funds will be disbursed and if FIFPRO’s involvement will have any significant impact on expediting the process. The Super Falcons’ players, who have shown immense dedication and passion for the sport, deserve to be recognized and remunerated appropriately for their contributions to Nigerian football.
It is crucial for the NFF and relevant government authorities to prioritize resolving this financial issue promptly, in order to restore confidence and stability within the women’s national team. Nigerian football enthusiasts, as well as the international football community, eagerly await a resolution that will ultimately provide the players with the financial security they deserve.