ALEXANDRIA – It’s crunch time in the city of Alexandria where players of the Super Eagles of Nigeria, currently spearheading Nigeria’s bid to win a 4th Africa Cup of Nations title at the 32nd AFCON in Egypt will be expecting their outstanding bonuses as promised by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
The players had been embroiled in an unseemly row with the Federation since the eve of their second Group B game against Guinea which saw the players boycott the pre-match conference on Tuesday and also threaten to boycott their training on the same day at the Arab Academy of Science, Technology and Maritime Transport.
They were finally prevailed upon to honour their training commitments and went on to defeat Guinea 1-0 on Wednesday at the Alexandria Stadium after receiving verbal assurances from the top echelon of the federation that all outstanding bonuses would be settled by Friday, 28th June 2019.
The NFF had told the players that a substantial part of the funds required to settle all player related bonuses and allowances had been approved by the government and was being converted to US Dollars for onward transit to Egypt.
With today being the agreed date for all outstanding emoluments to be paid up, it remains to be seen if the NFF will keep their part of the bargain after the players relegated their grievances with the Glass House to ensure Nigeria became the first team to seal progress to the knockout phases.
Addressing the press after that victory, Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr alluded to the importance of the NFF honouring their promise to the team in order to help the team keep its focus and already feelers from the Helnan Palestine Hotel base of the team in Alexandria indicate that certain players could very well revolt if they fail to receive their money at the end of today as promised.
The cash-strapped NFF has been hit by several scandals this year with several national teams engaging in public protests over pay. The U20 men’s team and the women national team, the Super Falcons, have had to publicly demand monies owed to them while at U20 FIFA World Cup and the FIFA Women’s World Cup respectively.