Thursday, June 1, 2023

Nigeria Football Federation admits not paying coaches for several months

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) says delays in paying several of its national team coaches are "nothing to be proud of".

Some of the missing salary payments date back over a year and those affected include Jose Peseiro, head coach of the men's senior side, and Ladan Bosso who is currently leading the male Under-20 team at the World Cup in Argentina where they have reached the second round. It is understood Bosso has only received three months' salary in the past 15 months.

Meanwhile, with the Women's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand less than two months away, Super Falcons coach Randy Waldrum is owed more than $100,000, including bonuses from last year's Women's Africa Cup of Nations (Wafcon).

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"The NFF has been facing huge financial challenges and there is an ongoing effort to resolve all the issues relating to unpaid wages," Ademola Olajire, the NFF's director of communications, told BBC Sport Africa.

"It is unfortunately not something to be proud of and the new board of the federation is working hard to resolve the problems."

Ibrahim Gusau, who replaced former NFF president Amaju Pinnick in September, inherited some of the debts from his predecessor and has been appealing to players and officials for patience, meaning the coaches are yet to make an official complaint.

Gusau has made contact with sponsors in a bid to encourage them to settle long-standing debts but the federation, which receives part of its income from the government, also owes outstanding bonuses to players including members of both the senior men's and women's sides.

The most recent missing payments to Super Eagles players date back to 2021 while the Super Falcons squad boycotted training before their 2022 Wafcon third-place play-off against Zambia over the non-payment of both bonuses and allowances.

Likewise, members of the U20 squad, who face hosts Argentina in their last-16 tie on Wednesday, are also owed qualifying bonuses and tournament allowances.

One senior Super Eagle, who did not want to be named, said: "We understand the financial situation affecting the NFF.

"The new president recently spoke to the captain (Ahmed Musa) and other senior players about our outstanding bonuses.

"He has been speaking to some of the sponsors and sports ministry but we just hope that it will be sorted out as promised.

It is not the first time Nigeria coaches have seen their wages go unpaid.

The list of those impacted is lengthy and includes Augustine Eguavoen, Samson Siasia, Sunday Oliseh, Gernot Rohr, Florence Omagbemi and the late Stephen Keshi.

The NFF says it is working to settle the current arrears.

By Oluwashina Okeleji, BBC

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