Even as Nigerians are far from satisfied with the performance of the Super Eagles in the qualifying round for both the 2013 Nations Cup and the 2014 World Cup, it was reported at the weekend that the senior national team players have been getting full bonuses of $10,000 for each of the matches they drew away.
The most recent is the 2-2 draw against the Lone Star of Liberia in Monrovia a fortnight ago. They similarly got the same amount against Malawi and Rwanda.
The standard practice before the Coach Stephen Keshi era was half the of the winning bonus which amounts to $5,000 each.
In February, the Eagles were held to a goalless draw by the Amavubi of Rwanda in a 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Kigali yet got full bonuses. It was also the case when they were forced to a 1-1 draw by hosts Malawi in a 2014 World Cup qualifier in Blantyre and they again received the full payment of $10,000.
One of the Europe-based stars who featured against the Lone Star of Liberia confirmed to MTNFootball.com: “Yes, we received $10,000 for the draw in Liberia.”
A top official who craved anonymity argued that the payment of full bonuses for these draws was to further motivate the players ahead of the challenges ahead.
“You will agree with me that the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) have done very well to adequately prepare the various national teams for major matches and tournaments,” the official defended.
“It is the same spirit of ensuring nothing is left to chance for the Eagles to qualify for both the AFCON as well as the 2014 World Cup that it was agreed to make full bonus payments to the Eagles even after matches they drew.”
The Eagles host Liberia in a return leg match for the 2013 Nations Cup on October 13, while they lead their World Cup qualifying section with four points from two matches.
They are to resume their qualifying campaign for Brazil 2014 with a home game against Harambee Stars of Kenya in March next year.