The Nigeria Football Federation says it is working at a pace to ensurethe payment of outstanding bonuses and allowances of the coaches andplayers of the senior men national team, Super Eagles, as well assalaries owed the coaches of the team.NFF General Secretary, Dr Mohammed Sanusi, said in Abuja on Wednedaythat the challenges and disruptions caused by the global coronaviruspandemic are still being felt by government institutions andbusinesses the world over, and there was no need to pretend that theseare normal times.
“The NFF deserves no joy in owing players and coaches theirentitlements. The same players and coaches have been well-taken-careof and provided the necessary facilities when things were normal, andas we work assiduously towards conquering the present challenges andseeing sunlight again, we expect the players, coaches andadministrative staff to show the same level of understanding that theyhave been showing over the past 18 months.
“Of course, we are pragmatists and we realize that these things canbe frustrating and some people will boil over and talk about them. Itis normal. Last month, during the friendlies in Austria, we were ableto pay some of the outstanding bonuses and allowances. We are workingat a pace presently to clear what is remaining. As I speak, we areowing the team bonuses and allowances from only the last two matches,and payments for these two games have been sent to the Central Banksome weeks ago. They will receive the monies shortly. We are equallyworking to pay the coaches what they are being owed as salaries.”
Dr Sanusi’s comments were in direct reference to a statement creditedto Super Eagles’ defender, Leon Balogun on Tuesday saying the NFF wasowing the players bonuses and allowances. “We have never denied owingthe team. Leon is a senior player that everyone respects for hisquality output on the pitch and calmness and forbearance off it, but Ido not know which reports he was referring to when he said the NFF wascontradicting itself.
“He also talked about playing pitches. Sincerely speaking, the pastfew years has seen a remarkable improvement in stadia infrastructureacross the country. The team had to move round the States because theturf of the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja got bad. Now, thepitch is coming back to shape thanks to the efforts of the presentMinister of Youth and Sports Development, Chief Sunday Dare, who gotthe respected Alhaji Aliko Dangote’s company to work on it.
“Presently, we have exciting venues in Uyo, Benin City, Asaba, Kadunaand Lagos. Without the team moving round the States, the governmentsof these States probably would not have devoted much efforts intoputting these facilities in world-standard shape. There are remarkableimprovements on facilities in Ibadan, the National Stadium in Lagosand a new one in Lagos. All these will benefit the teeming youthpopulation of Nigeria who are interested in sports.”
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