By Niyi Busari
President, Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, Amaju Pinnick has made two contradictory statements as regards the payment of Super Eagles players’ outstanding match bonuses and allowance.
Players of the bronze winning Eagles in the 2019 African Cup of Nations had said in March, 2021 that they have not received any bonuses and match allowance since their quarterfinal win over South Africa in Egypt.
Nigeria had played a total of ten matches which includes; the Semifinal match against Algeria and the 3rd place game against Tunisia at the 2019 African Nations Cup in Egypt. They have also played double friendly matches with Algeria and Tunisia on October 9 and 13 respectively. And six games in the 2021 African Cup of Nations qualifiers against the group foes which consists of Benin Republic, Lesotho and Sierra Leone on home and away.
The FIFA Council Member, Amaju Pinnick said that the players have received all the outstanding allowance and bonuses owed by the NFF since 2019 adding that the remaining balance is safely kept in the Federation’s account.
“Go and find out from 2019 till date, whether NFF received a dime from government for the seven African Cup of Nations qualifying matches that we played” Pinnick told BSN Sports.
“They (FG) just paid N740 million for the 2019 AFCON and the money is there in our account because we don’t know what to do with it.” He added.
“But guess what? From all the money we muscled from all our sponsors, we’ve been able to pay the players. We have paid everything about AFCON from what we muscled out.” Pinnick told BSN Sports.
A month after the interview with BSN Sports, the former Delta State Commissioner for Sports in a recent interview on Arise TV admitted that the NFF is still owing the Super Eagles while explaining why seven Super Eagles players withdrew from the Cameroon double header friendly games.
“We are not proud to say we are owing, but there are some circumstances in few years that made us not to meet our obligations, but thankfully the players understand that we are always there for them since we came in.” Pinnick told Arise TV.
Confirming this, BSN Sports contacted Pinnick to clarify on whether or not the NFF is owing the Super Eagles players but after three days of waiting without response. Reminder messages were sent to his personal phone numbers but yet there was no response from him.
The Super Eagles lost 0-1 to Cameroon in the first friendly game held in Austria on Friday night and the three-time African champions will be looking forward to winning the second leg on Tuesday at the same venue.