NFF, Sports Ministry Treat Super Falcons Like Unwanted Child
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By Amaechi Agbo
Two weeks after the finished 4th in the recently concluded 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations, WAFCON and “sneaked” into the country like “deported migrants”, players of Super Falcons of Nigeria have continued to lament the illtreament they have continually received from football authorities in the country.
This time, one of the players have accused the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF and ministry of youth and sports development of neglect and treating them like “unwanted child”
The Nigeria squad who finished 4th at the WAFCON are still waiting for NFF and Sports Ministry to pay their outstanding match entitlements
The Super Falcons boycotted training before their third-place play-off against Zambia, on 22 July, over the non-payment of both bonuses and allowances. They lost the match 1-0
Each player is owed over $10,000, which includes win bonuses for their three victories en route to the semi-finals in Morocco.
“They said the money had been approved and will get to us in a few days’ time – that was before the game against Zambia.
“It’s now gone from that to ridiculous excuses like wrong account numbers to network issues. The lies and disrespect clearly shows that they love to treat the women’s team like the unwanted child.
“The Sports Ministry was always quick to celebrate our success with big statements, but since this money problem started they’ve been very quiet.
“Imagine if one of their own daughters was playing for Nigeria – would they treat her like that,” BBC quoted unnamed player of the Falcons.
Daily allowances while the team was in Morocco, totalling $2,800, and money for a pre-tournament camp in Abuja have been paid to the squad.
But along with their win bonuses in North Africa, Super Falcons players are yet to receive sums relating to trips to Austria and Canada as well as a bonus for beating Ivory Coast over two legs to qualify for the Wafcon finals.
Some players had feared they would not be paid after the tournament, but cut short their protest and finished fourth after losing 1-0 to the Copper Queens.
“The players should be getting the money this week because it’s been processed,” an NFF official told BBC over the week
Nigeria, nine-time African champions, qualified for the 2023 Women’s World Cup by reaching the last four of this year’s WAFCON, before then losing to hosts Morocco on penalties.
NFF’s Historic Disrespectful Treatment Of The Falcons
Over the years and in several competitions, instances have proven how the Super Falcons players are treated like second class citizens.
Despite their domineering posture in Africa football with nine trophies as well as eight consecutive appearances in the FIFA Women’s World Cup, the Super Falcons are yet to be accorded due respect and honour they deserve.
The Africa’s most successful women’s side have protested over unpaid bonuses, with the Super Falcons involved in sit-in protests in hotels twice before at previous WAFCON.
The first came in South Africa in 2004 after the West Africans won the title, with another in 2016 in Abuja after claiming their eighth continental crown in Cameroon.
At the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France, the players staged another sit-in protest over unpaid salaries and bonuses after their round of 16 elimination by Germany.
After winning the 2018 edition on December 1 in Ghana, Nigeria’s federal government made several promises and fixed dates to host the Falcons but that never happened.
Each Nigeria player in Morocco is entitled to a $100 daily allowance and $6,000 for their two wins in the group stage.
Following a recent payment review, the players can also expect $5,000 for their quarter-final victory, but they missed out on proposed payments of $7,000 and $10,000 for potential victories in the semi-final and final respectively.
Additional Reports By BBC Sports Africa