NFF President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has denied that the country’s team received full win bonuses for recent away draws.
“There is no truth in the story that we paid the team full bonus for matches they drew because in the first place, we do not have the money to even do so,” said NFF spokesman Ademola Olajire.
“The team therefore received what was due as bonuses based on the results they recorded.”
MTNFootball.com reported that the Eagles were paid full bonuses for drawn games in Liberia, Malawi and Rwanda with a Europe-based player who featured in the 2-2 draw with Liberia in Monrovia among those who confirmed this.
The Eagles are entitled to $10,000-a-man for a win whether in the Nations Cup or World Cup qualifiers, while they get half that amount in the event of a draw.
“The NFF have insisted on financial prudence and as such will not do anything contrary to the laid down regulations,” a top official told MTNFootball.com
Officials further informed that because of the poor finances of the federation, they may even be forced to review the bonuses.
Meanwhile, Super Eagles Head Coach, Stephen Keshi, is looking at several other players as possible replacement for Italy-based Obiora Nwankwo who struggled in Liberia early this month.
Nwankwo was slow and sluggish against the Lone Star of Liberia in Monrovia and as such Keshi and his assistants are on the look-out for a more capable replacement for the player, who has failed to make the grade at Inter Milan.
Chelsea star, John Mikel Obi is already a sure-bet to be recalled for the return leg match against Liberia on October 13 in Calabar, but should he again opt out, officials are also weighing other options.
Joel Obi from Inter Milan, Kano Pillars star Gabriel Reuben and Nigeria U-20 star Kenneth Omeruo are among the names that have been suggested to replace Nwankwo.
However, there remains doubt over the match fitness of both Joel Obi, who has just returned from a long-term injury, and Rueben, who was ruled out of the Liberia game on account of a groin injury.
Omeruo, on the other hand, has been in fantastic form for his Dutch club ADO Den Haag playing at right back but can also play at central defence or as a defensive midfielder.
The 18-year-old shone at right back on Sunday night at home against champions Ajax Amsterdam in a game that finished 1-1.
He has confirmed his availability for the Flying Eagles return leg qualifier against South Africa on October 7.
It remains a big mystery why this Chelsea loanee has yet to be capped at full international level by Nigeria.