The war of words between the Super Falcons coach, Randy Waldrum and his employers, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has reached another crescendo ahead of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The American coach while speaking On The Whistle Podcast said he was no longer going to be quiet as he queried the NFF on the whereabouts of the $960,000 (N744m) given to the Super Falcons to prepare for the World Cup.
“I am not going to be quiet anymore. In October, every country was given $960,000 from FIFA to prepare for the World Cup. Where is that money?,” he asked.
He further revealed he was owed 14 months’ salary but was recently paid 7 months while some players are still being owed two years’ allowances.
“Up until about three weeks ago, I had been owed 14 months salary and then they paid 7 months’ salary. We still have players that haven’t been paid since 2 years ago when we played the summer series in the USA. It is a travesty,” he said.
Waldrum has stated that he still believes that Nigeria will do well at the forthcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia, despite what he described as shoddy preparations for the tournament.
While Waldrum acknowledged the difficulty that the Super Falcons would face going into the World Cup Group B to face hosts Australia, reigning Olympic champions Canada, and European dark horses Ireland, he appeared confident that Nigeria could find a way out of the group.
I think our group is the hardest in the tournament, to be honest,” Waldrum said, continuing, “but we still have the belief that we can get something out of it and find a way to get out of the group.
“The players are in a really good spot, and I think we have some talent in the team. We have some really good players.
“It’s just disappointing that they haven’t been supported the way they need to [in order] to really bring out everything that they offer.
The Super Falcons of Nigeria find themselves in the tournament’s proverbial Group of Death, however, and need to eliminate one of the group’s favourites, Australia or Canada, to progress as one of the two qualifiers to the knockout stage.
In a swift response, the NFF through its media director, Ademola Olajire said the money was judiciously used in preparing the team for the tournament.
“Everyone knows FIFA pays preparation money for every team going to the World Cup. The team travelled to Japan to play matches, travelled to Mexico for a tournament and travelled to Turkey to play matches.
“The team is presently having a 15-day training camp in Gold Coast. Is it Mr Blabbermouth Waldrum who has been paying? He claims he’s been at the job because of the players. Bollocks,” he said.
“Incompetent loudmouth found his voice now he is about to achieve his only ambition of leading a team at the world cup. His entire objective has always been to add a leading a team at the world cup to his CV. Worst coach to have handled the Super Falcons of Nigeria by a country mile, Olajire said.