Former Sports Minister Confirms NFF Have Not Paid Falconets For 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup
By Our Correspondent
Former Nigeria youth and sports minister, Barr. Solomon Selcap Dalung has once again confirmed that the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, has not paid the women U-20 national team, the Falconets for their participation in the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup held in France, two years after, Bestchoicesports.com.ng can report.
Barr. Dalung who was a guest on a popular WhatsApp platform group, NSM Rebranded Wednesday, said that despite meeting the NFF officials in Austria ahead of the biennial global tournament who promised to pay the ladies, nothing has happened.
Dalung who was the minister of youth and sports from November 2015 to May 2019 and oversaw the reinvigoration of several sporting activities including winning hundreds of laurels and breaking centuries of histories in the country, accused the NFF of talking too much, making promises and keeping none.
“In 2018 I visited the Falconets while they were in camp in Austria preparing for the World Cup in France I had one on one meeting with the team officials and players.
“In our discussion they opened up to me about their problems which revolved around non-payment of their camping allowances and bonuses. As at then they told me that since they were mobilised to come to camp which was around May 2018 till when they went on an international camping in Austria, they have not been paid a dime narrating their predicament
“They went further to tell me that in fact sometime it get so bad that they will have to rely on the coaching officials for assistance to buy toiletries.
“It was at that point I became emotional imagining if my daughter was playing for the National team and find herself in a situation where she has to share certain information which should ordinary be private to her with an official so she can solve her problem, So that was when I now had to bring out the little I had on me and decided to donate it to them to solve their welfare.
“In Austria the NFF head of football units was there and I enquire if she was there with money she said yes, she was with some money but I think it was not going to be up to anything serious, so I decided to assure them that when I come back, I will make sure I get to the root of the problem
“When I got back to Nigeria I took up the issue with the NFF which they promised they were going to pay and they said that the team is a Junior team so it was out of the teams the international body takes responsibilities of.
“So that lingers on till they got to France and even in France the issue came up again I had to again direct the NFF to try to sort out the issue and they kept promising, they didn’t do anything about it, so when I got back to my office, the NFF came complaining of financial crisis having no money then i had to direct that the part of the FIFA World cup money that was kept by the ministry seven hundred million should be released to them so they can addressed the problem of the team and also the Super Falcons who were on their way to the World cup.
“But sadly as am talking to you the team have not been paid even when I left office I exchanged communications with the NFF President on WhatsApp, when the team captain kept mounting pressure on me that they have not been paid, I still communicated the NFF president and he said they have not paid, I still communicated with the captain last week they were still unpaid,” the minister said
It could be recalled that a former head of women football in the NFF, Ruth David, had dragged an online sports new website, to a Kwali High Court in Abuja over report on the non-payment of the players’ entitlements.
The women department allegedly lost $10, 000 meant for the players’ welfare.