The President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Ibrahim Gusau has cited a lack of sponsors as the reason for their inability to pay national team players their match bonuses.
Gusau made this known on Tuesday during the Federation’s Peace Parley with the Federal House of Representative Committee on Sports.
He said, “I want to assure Nigerians that very soon they will see a lot of changes in the development of football so that a lot of sponsors will come back to us. All these issues of not paying match bonuses, and the rest of it is because of sponsorship. By the grace of God, everything will be resolved and they (the committee) have agreed to work with us to see that we get to that destination.”
Over the past months, there have been reports of NFF delaying the payment of wages for some officials and players, with both Jose Peseiro, Super Eagles head coach, and Randy Waldrum, Super Falcons head coach, included.
Waldrum is reportedly owed more than $100,000, including bonuses from last year’s Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON). Ladan Bosso, head coach of the Flying Eagles, is said to have only received three months’ salary in the past 15 months.
In May, Ademola Olajire, the NFF’s communications director, spoke about the financial challenges bedevilling the federation in a chat with BBC.
Olajire said the unpaid wages are “not something to be proud of” while adding that the federation is “facing huge financial challenges”.
Olajire said the new board of the federation has started planning ways to mitigate the problem.
“The NFF has been facing huge financial challenges, and there is an ongoing effort to resolve all the issues relating to unpaid wages,” the NFF spokesperson said.
“It is unfortunately not something to be proud of, and the new board of the federation is working hard to resolve the problems.”
It will be recalled shortly after the Super Falcons were eliminated from the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, FIFPRO released a statement wherein they would be assisting the team in their fight with the country’s football federation (NFF) to receive wages owed since 2021.
Nigeria arrived at the Women’s World Cup having been at loggerheads with the NFF over pay and conditions, with coach Randy Waldrum saying he was owed seven months’ wages and some of his players had not been paid in two years.
“Up until about three weeks ago, I had been owed 14 months’ salary, and then they paid seven months salary.
“Before that, a year and a half to two years, I had been owed for months before I was paid a little bit of it. Starting July, I’ll be eight months behind in salary.
“We still have players that haven’t been paid since two years ago when we played the summer series in the USA. It’s a travesty,” he said a few weeks to the kick-off of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup
During the 2022 WAFCON, Super Falcons boycotted a training session ahead of their third-place match in protest of unpaid match bonuses.
Similarly, Gernot Rohr, former Super Eagles head coach, had to report the NFF to FIFA before the federation was ordered to pay nearly $400,000 in outstanding wages due to the Franco-German.
The NFF has a history of unpaid wages to players and officials of the Nigerian national teams.