*How long can the boys condone this?
Bankrupt Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) is owing even the senior national football team, the Super Eagles, their winning allowances and bonuses for victories over Zambia and Algeria in the ongoing 2018 World Cup qualifiers. Sad.
Truth is, we have never had it this bad in the recent history of the nation. It is on record that during the tenure of Alhaji Sani Lulu Abdullahi whence Chief Taiwo Ogunjobi was the Secretary General, there was no single day when bonus issue arose. Bonus crisis resumed at the Glass House after that administration.
With the coming of the Alhaji Aminu Maigari administration, we had all manners of national teams. They attended all competitions. One outstanding feature of that administration is that players got their allowances. Officials travelled more than the international passport.
Did the NFF plan for an away victory?: Question is, how long will the issue of bonus be held away from breaking the concentration and winning ways of the Super Eagles? This is a team that went to Ndola to trap their hosts, Zambia 1-2 on 9th October before going on to defeat Algeria in Akwa Ibom 3-1 on 12th November, 2016.
With the kind of massive propaganda that the Senate was used to beat the Federal Government to release fund on the eve of the match in Ndola using also a prostrate sporting media suffering from jaundice and ‘stomach infrastructure’ what happened to all the monies they got and yet, could not eke out what to pay the players if they drew or won.
Nigerians will not be in a hurry to remember how the national team players had to go on a protest after playing in Namibia on their way to the Confederation Cup. That protest took the steam out of the national team ahead of the competition. Must this happen before some reasonable persons or circumstances make the Amaju Pinnick board side step and let prudency reign.
Under the same Stephen Keshi, during the Nations Cup in the match against Cote D’ivoire. NFF officials on paper had donated the game to their opponents. They told the players to pack their personal wares as they will be leaving from the airport to Nigeria immediately after the match. That was the turning point!
Shattered, troubled and annihilated. Keshi while addressing the players minutes before going into the game couldn’t hold tears back. He psyched and pepped up the boys. They dispatched the much star-studded Ivorien team and went on to win the trophy. At the end of the day, the NFF celebrated the victory more than the players.
N42m chattered flight scandal: Unconfirmed sources disclosed to www.gongnews.net that the NFF chiefs chattered a flight to go and support the Super Falcons play in the final of the 10th African Women Cup of Nations. Had someone with a good head sat down to reason, using the principle of opportunity cost to rather than fly use that sum to settle the team’s match bonuses, won’t the ladies be happier winning the trophy the eighth time?
You flew a chattered flight paying N42million and cannot pay the lasses. You are now preaching ‘no money.’ General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, while speaking on Tuesday, said: “We are still owing the Super Eagles for the matches against Zambia and Algeria, but the memos have gone to Government and are being looked at.”
“How come they were able to quickly raise over N42 million to charter a flight just to watch the final in Cameroon when the same people could not raise money to pay nine months salaries for the coaches, camp allowances and winning bonuses for players and officials? I want Nigerians to help us ask the sports minister and the NFF this question,” a player asked waiting for answer from this reporter.
They actually arrived in Yaoundé early but we learnt they decided to stay back at the airport till mid day. They knew we will be going to the stadium at 1.40 pm for the match. We saw their entourage just when we were approaching the stadium gate. So when we won the cup, we expected them to come and address us either in our dressing room at the stadium or in our hotel. But we were shocked to hear they left for the airport immediately after the game.
The minister and Amaju, as well as officials, including NFF’s First Vice President, Seyi Akinwunmi, Christopher Green, Emmanuel Ikpeme, Shehu Dikko, Nneka Anibeze, Harry Iwuala and Harry Awurumibe, among others, flew into Yaoundé just before the final game of the competition on Saturday. Though, Pinnick denied they did not pay for the flight but also did not say who paid for the flight.
Profligate administrators: He forgot to tell the Super Falcons players that the N42million they paid to do chattered flight did not need a memo nor took such a long time to bring out the money to make them fly but it is their allowances that requires a memo and like a million number of hours before it will come out.
Sanusi was however, fast to add that the Super Eagles were owed monies for the match against Tanzania and were paid when funds for that match was made available by Government. That was most likely because it is the Super Eagles.
This administration has had no space and time for the Women national teams. It was because the Super Falcons had to surmount all the troubles before them to win at the continental stage that gave them that little respect. In truth, given the preparation and support they got before the tourney, Nigeria does not deserve to win that tourney.
It was like the kiss of Judas Iscariot seeing Amaju Pinnick trying to celebrate the lasses at the podium with a kind of hand shaking, girdle twisting skill which was only unique to him and looked out of place. Many of the lasses knew but just attempted to put up a good face with him.
Shame is an alien in football management: in the days of Alhaji Raheem Adejumo in the Nigeria Olympic Committee or when Alhaji Yusuf Alli was NFA Chairman, with a then Colonel Ishola Williams in handball, Eddie Aderinokun in Volleyball, Mrs Nwokedi in Weightlifting etc private funds dominated and commanded the air. That was why when Nigeria qualified for the first time in 1994 private funds were raised and used to prosecute that world cup campaign. That led to the establishment of the Nigeria Sports Development Fund Inc led by Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu (MFR).
Today, the entire funds of the NFF must be government. Hear Sanusi: “we must commend the Hon. Minister (Barrister Solomon Dalung). He has been energetically pushing the cases of the various national teams. We did the memo for the Women Africa Cup of Nations in October and it is being processed as we speak.”
Stating that the NFF has embarked on aggressive drive to find a permanent solution to the issue of owing players and coaches, Sanusi said corporate players are now lending a listening ear to the NFF leadership and the Federation’s finances would soon improve. As in truth? We’ve been hearing this for only God knows how many time.
Administrative kwashiorkor: “We are also working to get monies outstanding from former sponsors of the national teams, to complement what we are expecting from Government.
Ironically, the Super Falcons are the second highest ranked sports property in Nigeria after Scrabble which is number one. By eduction, that is the highest ranked in our football. Yes, higher than the over priced Super Eagles. How much money has been invested in the Women Leagues, the various successful national teams. Until the coming of the Pinnick Board, the value ofour women football has been affected by administrative kwashiorkor.
“In relation to all these, we are in the process of sorting out our TSA domiciliary accounts so that we can receive our due grants from FIFA and CAF, including the $80,000 prize money from the AWCON, once it is available.”
The NFF scribe also appealed to media representatives to understand the plight of the Federation and temper their write-ups with some understanding. “This morning, I was reading a report that the Federation is yet to pay the Super Falcons one kobo. That is not correct. While the team was in Cameroon, the NFF sourced for money from one of our sponsors and paid the players N500,000 each, and also paid the technical crew and backroom staff.”
So, what is their job? Why are they occupying office without responsibility? “Our friends in the media should make effort to clarify whatever information they have before going to press,” pleaded a rain beaten-chicken in Sanusi Mohammed.