Nigeria Football Federation president Amaju Pinnick has confirmed that coaches and players of the Super Eagles are being owed bonuses and allowances dating back to the 2019 AFCON and covering nine games.
According to the BBC, Pinnick said the NFF and federal government are “working seriously” to ensure the mountain of debt is cleared “within the next few weeks”.
Reports of an 18-month pay backlog for the Super Eagles dating back to the 2019 AFCON in Egypt resurfaced after the team played out consecutive draws with Sierra Leone in last month’s 2021 AFCON qualifiers.
Quoting an unnamed player, the BBC reports a planned protest about their pay had to be shelved in the aftermath of the first leg 4-4 draw with the Leone Stars in Benin when the Super Eagles gave up a 4-0 lead.
“Our initial plan was to address it before the game in Sierra Leone but we all saw what happened,” one player told BBC Sport Africa as he insisted on anonymity.
“I don’t think they [NFF officials] can keep quiet if they’re unpaid by their bosses. They’re quick to blame the players for defeats but happy to celebrate the success of the team.
“If the players go on strike they blame us for being money hungry and selfish yet this is money they owe us.
“There are [training] camp allowances and match bonuses not paid to us and the technical crew since July 2019 and that’s not good.”
It would have been the second time in two years the team would protest for their pay after they boycotted training last year in Egypt over the same issue.
Responding to the claims, Pinnick acknowledged a months-long bonuses and allowances backlog for the Super Eagles but insisted plans are underfoot to ensure the issue is resolved quickly.
“We are working with the government very seriously in assuring that it [money] comes out within the next few weeks,” Pinnick told BBC Sport Africa.
“It’s been tough financially for us and we’ve had to depend on support from our sponsors in the last four matches.
“I personally understand the players should be paid what they are owed because we’ve always ensure prompt payment in the past.
“They’ve shown remarkable professionalism, if they can just bear with us, this is something I am hoping to resolve as soon as possible.”