Nigeria side currently playing in the FIFA World Cup lost out on over $ 300,000 in bonus money after they lost 2-0 in their opening match against Croatia. This money was promised to them by the sponsors and government officials earlier.
Talking to the CNN, a spokesman for the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) revealed that Federation had approved bonuses of $ 10,000 per player if they had won that game. Later on Tuesday there were widespread rumours in the country that the sports minister would increase the bonus amount by $ 5000 per player if they played well in their next game and defeat Iceland. They’re already in the eye of the storm after their last defeat.
However, Nneka Anibeze, the assistant to the sports minister clarified that these reports were unfounded. He informed the press that the bonus was promised only for the opening match, which the team failed to win.
Nigeria’s loss against Croatia also meant that they lost out an additional $ 50,000 bonus promised by Aiteo, the federation sponsor, as well as another $ 50,000 that Nigeria’s Senate President Bukola Saraki had promised for all the games won.
The reports published in the local media also said that the Senate President had gifted $ 50,000 to the team before their departure for the World Cup. It’s not only the players, but a good number of football punters who had backed Super Eagles also lost their money. For anyone starting out with football betting, it’s very important to never bet with his/her own money. You should instead click here for new free bets and test the waters before putting anything of yours at stake.
The controversy surrounding bonuses
Bonus payments have always been controversial in Nigeria, and in some other African countries too. Nigerian players have constantly battled with the NFF leaders over delays in bonus pay outs in the past, especially during the qualification games before the major tournaments.
The matters got worse to an extent that there were series of player strikes before the start of the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2013 and during the FIFA World Cup in Brazil 4 years ago.
Ghana’s football players grabbed global headlines for all the wrong reasons in the last World Cup after they fought with the Federation over money owed to them, during the World Cup tournament
The disagreement resulted in FIFA intervention and advance payments made out to Ghana FA, enabling them to pay the players their bonuses, and bring the focus back on the football field. In fact, the Nigerian government was forced to send out an emergency delegation carrying cash money to pay the players on the eve of their game against France.
Although the Super Eagles lost that game 0-2 and exited from the 2014 World Cup, they did it not before claiming what was owed to them.
A lesson learnt in time
The present NFF leadership is very cautious and has learnt the lessons the hard way, particularly based on the past events in Ghanaian and Nigerian football camps. They have made sure that all such cash issues were sorted out well before in the ongoing World Cup.
Pinnick, the current NFF president clarified the federation’s stand to the CNN stating, “We are confident now that without any distraction, the players can concentrate with Nigerians and fans of the Eagles see the most organized outing so far.”
Mikel Obi, the team’s captain expressed his happiness with the NFF’s functioning and said, “We are very happy and excited with this development. This is the first time since I started playing for the senior team that I would see everything regarding preparation and bonuses and allowances put down in black and white and a binding agreement executed. It is reassuring that we now have a Federation leadership so committed to making everything work that they arranged this meeting and allowed the players to contribute and then set out to sign the agreement.”