The Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, on Friday said it never had a policy on the payment of $10,000 (N1.6 million) as win-bonus for players of the Senior National Team, the Super Eagles. It also said there is no going back on the fixed fee of $5,000 winning bonus.
The federation recently announced the bonus, with bonus for a drawn match fixed for $2, 500 from $5,000.
Speaking in Abuja, the NFF General Secretary, Musa Amadu, debunked a statement credited to Abba Yola, the Chairman of Kano Pillars Football Club and former special assistant to the Director General of National Sports Commission.
Mr. Yola had reportedly said that there was a policy on the payment of $10,000 bonus for the players.
“We are surprised to read the statement by Alhaji Abba Yola. He was involved enough to know exactly what went on in the days of the Presidential Task Force. The task force had a meeting with the NFF and said they had agreed to increase the team’s win-bonus to $10,000, but that the NFF would only need to pay the normal $5,000 while the task force paid the balance of $5, 000,” Mr. Amadu said.
“I have not seen it anywhere that it is written or captured as policy of the Nigeria Football Federation. The present NFF administration came into office to meet the situation of $10,000 and with good intention, decided to continue paying the players that sum in order to motivate them.
“Now that we are challenged and we need to cut our coat according to our cloth, I don’t see why all the hoopla about the slash. When the NFF President and a couple of Members of Executive Committee met with the Management of Super Eagles over the matter, and craved their support over the constraints that we have at the moment, they expressed their understanding and that was why the NFF went ahead to implement.”
Mr. Amadu disapproved of the blames heaped on the NFF over the bonus row.
“The NFF has gone to great length to explain the situation that we have found ourselves and we expect those who should have an understanding of this matter to give dispassionate opinion,” he said.
He said the federation would not reverse its decision to implement the new approved bonuses.
“Even at $5,000, the Super Eagles remain among the best-paid national teams in Africa.
“It is a decision of the NFF Executive Committee, taken after thorough deliberation, and we cannot go back on it no matter the amount of blackmail,” he said.
Last Thursday, the Super Eagles, aggrieved over the bonus cut, staged a protest and refused to travel to Brazil for the ongoing FIFA Confederations Cup.
Sports administrators including the Sports Minister, after series of appeals, convinced the boys to go to Brazil for the competition.
At the Confed Cup, Nigeria won their Group B opener against Tahiti 6-1 before a 2-1 loss to Uruguay.