After being put on blast by Super Eagles defender Leon Balogun, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) have assured that they are working on paying the outstanding wages of the players and coaches of the national team.
NFF promise to clear Super Eagles’ outstanding wages after being put on blast by Leon Balogun
NFF's pledge came after Leon Balogun had called them out in a recent interview.
Balogun in an interview that was published recently blasted the NFF over outstanding wages and bonus and subpar treatment of the Super Eagles.
Excerpts from the interview where he called out the NFF was reported by the Nigerian media on Wednesday, July 28, 2021 and later that same day the NFF released a statement.
In their statement, the NFF General Secretary, Dr Mohammed Sanusi, said that the challenges and disruptions caused by the global coronavirus pandemic are still being felt by government institutions and businesses the world over.
“The NFF deserves no joy in owing players and coaches their entitlements. The same players and coaches have been well-taken-care of and provided the necessary facilities when things were normal, and as we work assiduously towards conquering the present challenges and seeing sunlight again, we expect the players, coaches and administrative staff to show the same level of understanding that they have been showing over the past 18 months,” Sanusi said.
“Of course, we are pragmatists and we realize that these things can be frustrating and some people will boil over and talk about them.”
Sanusi in the statement revealed that in June, they cleared some outstanding bonuses and allowances during Super Eagles’ friendlies in Austria and that they are only owing the players for two games.
“We are working at a pace presently to clear what is remaining. As I speak, we are owing the team bonuses and allowances from only the last two matches, and payments for these two games have been sent to the Central Bank some weeks ago,” he also said.
“They will receive the monies shortly. We are equally working to pay the coaches what they are being owed as salaries.”
On Balogun’s comments, Sanusi said; “We have never denied owing the team. Leon is a senior player that everyone respects for his quality output on the pitch and calmness and forbearance off it, but I do not know which reports he was referring to when he said the NFF was contradicting itself.”
Balogun in his comment also said the accommodation and pitches provided by the NFF in Nigeria have not been good enough for the Super Eagles.
The defender also questioned why the Super Eagles do not have a permanent base in Nigeria but Sanusi noted the upsides of having the national team travel around the country to play games.
“The team had to move round the States because the turf of the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja got bad,” he said.
“Now, the pitch is coming back to shape thanks to the efforts of the present Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Chief Sunday Dare, who got the respected Alhaji Aliko Dangote’s company to work on it.
“Presently, we have exciting venues in Uyo, Benin City, Asaba, Kaduna and Lagos. Without the team moving round the States, the governments of these States probably would not have devoted much efforts into putting these facilities in world-standard shape.
“There are remarkable improvements on facilities in Ibadan, the National Stadium in Lagos and a new one in Lagos."
Sanusi also said that these stadiums will benefit Nigerian youths across the country.