NFF Set to Resolve World Cup Bonuses with Eagles

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  • Budgets N6.4bn for next year 
  • Stops bonus payments to age-grade teams

Femi Solaja

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has moved to ensure that World Cup 2018 bonuses are concluded with the Super Eagles before the end of this year to avoid repetition of what transpired in Brazil three years ago.
At the Mundial in the South American country three years ago, Super Eagles players abandoned training ahead of a crucial second round clash with France as a result of disagreement over bonuses.

It took the intervention of then President Goodluck Jonathan who directed Senate President, Senator David Mark to fly into Brazil with the cash from Abuja to pay the players at their Campina camp before they returned to training. Nigeria eventually lost the match 1-0 to France.

Football aficionados attributed the loss in Brasilia to the dispute and the fact that Eagles stayed awake almost all the night leading to the match to pick up the cash.

But thursday, NFF decided at its executive committee meeting that held at the Plateau State Governor’s Lodge in Jos that bonuses agreements with the players must be concluded before the end of the year.

“World Cup bonuses must be firmly concluded and agreement signed before the end of this year, for the sake of stable preparations and credible participation at the World Cup finals without any distractions,” observed the communique released after the meeting.

The committee also resolved that adequate and intensive preparation of the Super Eagles for the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup, including the arrangement of quality friendly matches for the team, is non –negotiable.

“To this end, a comprehensive plan of action would be released after the World Cup Draw in Moscow on 1st December 2017, which would encompass training camps, friendly matches, marketing and funds drive to ensure a great outing at the World Cup finals.”

In line with global best practices, the NFF has also decided to stop payment of bonuses for all age grade national teams. Also, it stopped bonus payment to coaches and backroom staff of the senior teams.

“The committee reiterated that henceforth, only the Super Eagles and the Super Falcons will be entitled to bonus payments per match. Players, coaches and backroom staff of other teams will earn daily allowances, approved bonuses at the end of successful qualifying campaigns and approved allowances (including daily allowances) at championships.”

Meanwhile, the General Assembly approved the NFF Financial Statement for the year 2016 and the 2018 Budget as proposed.

The Federation’s total budget for year 2018 activities is the sum of N6,382,500,310.00. The guaranteed revenues from sponsors and government subvention is the sum of N3,062,500,310.00, leaving a shortfall of the sum of N3,320,000,000.00, which the Federation has to work to augment through sponsorships and special interventions.
Another far reaching decision at the Congress also includes the adoption of the motion to the effect that future Elective Congresses be moved away from the FIFA World Cup year. Katsina has been selected to host the next Elective Congress.

“This is to guarantee stability in the system to prepare the national team for credible participation at the finals, and to avoid the distractions and crises usually associated with the World Cup year.