For taking part in the Confederations Cup even though they didn’t advance beyond the first round, African champions, the Super Eagles of Nigeria will pocket $1.7 million dollars.
The Super Eagles would have got $2.5million if they qualified for the semi finals and $3million if they went ahead to win the third place classification match. In the rather unlikely event that Coach Stephen Keshi managed to steer his team to the final but lost, Nigeria would have raked in $3.6million. In the even more unlikely scenario of winning the Confederations Cup, Nigeria would have picked $4.1million.
Nigeria won one match against Oceania champions Tahiti, but lost against South American champions Uruguay and European and world champions Spain, effectively sealing their hopes of making it to the semi finals of the eight-team competition.
Many followers of the game in Nigeria had expected Eagles to get to the semis at least before the team jetted out to Brazil given that the tournament has only two groups of four teams each, with the top two sides progressing to the last four.
But bonus crisis which arose after Eagles’ double World Cup qualifying matches against Kenya and Namibia ensured that Nigeria didn’t travel to Brazil on time, losing two precious days as the players insisted on collecting full bonus of $15,000 (for the win against Kenya and draw against Namibia), while the Nigeria Football Federation said they could only pay $7.500, pleading lack of funds as usual.
Having travelled half way round the world to get to Brazil, with no time to rest or train, Nigeria struggled. The late arrival in Brazil coupled with poor marksmanship in front of goal proved too much of a bad combination, as the Super Eagles came unstuck in their last two group matches against Uruguay and Spain, after the opening whitewash of minnows Tahiti.