*NFF dismisses FIFPRO statement as storm in a tea cup
Super Falcons players who exited the ongoing FIFA Women’s World Cup in the Round of 16 in Brisbane, Australia on Monday after a nerve-racking shootouts with the Lionesses of England, have thrown their weights behind FIFPRO’s call on the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to pay all monies owed the players, some dating back to 2021.
The players who posted the FIFPRO statement on their Instagram pages yesterday include; Asisat Oshoala, Rasheedat Ajibade, Toni Payne, Uchenna Kanu and Ashleigh Plumptre.
Nigeria and Napoli star boy, Victor Osimhen, also posted on X platform (formerly Twitter) a simple message asking the NFF to pay the players. Victorosimhen9 wrote: Pay them@thenffofficial.
FIFPRO is the world’s umbrella body for all professional footballers with its headquarters based in The Netherlands. It is made of 66 national players’ associations. Nigeria is currently suspended based on the in-fighting that rocked the country’s players union, NANF.
FIFPRO, posted a statement on its Instagram page yesterday telling Falcons players that it has taken up their fight with the NFF in the quests to get all that they are entitled to.
“Following the Nigerian women football team’s elimination from the FIFA Women’s World Cup, FIFPRO can confirm it is assisting players in a disagreement with the Nigeria Football Federation concerning bonus payments, camp allowances and expenses, some of which date back to 2021.
“During the World Cup, the players expressed the desire to remain focused on their performance without making public statements or facing other distractions.
“However, the Super Falcons believe that it is now time for the Nigeria Football Federation to honour their commitments and pay the outstanding amounts.
“The team is extremely frustrated that they have had to pursue the NFF for these payments before and during the tournament and may have to continue doing so afterwards. It is regrettable that players needed to challenge their own federation at such important time in their careers.
“FIFPRO will continue to work with the players to ensure their contractual rights are honoured and the outstanding payments are settled,” concludes the FIFPRO statement yesterday.
However, in a swift reaction to FIFPRO’s statement, the NFF dismissed it as nothing but a storm in a tea cup.
“The Nigeria Football Federation has dismissed as nothing more than a storm in a team cup, a statement issued by the world body of professional footballers, FIFPRO on Tuesday calling on the Federation to pay players of the Super Falcons what they are owed.
Director of Communication at NFF, Ademola Olajire, recalled that the federation officials sat down and agreed with the players on what to pay them but FIFA came up with a juicier package and they were all happy about it.
“If they had beaten England, for instance, and reached the quarter-finals, the players would have been entitled to $90,000, and not the $60,000 each player will be getting now. A place in the semi-finals would have guaranteed at least $165,000 each (for 4th place, and $180,000 each for 3rd place) for the players,” observed the NFF spokesman.
While restating that the federation has no issues with the players, NFF charged FIFPRO to stop playing the ostrich and stand up to its real responsibilities, calling on the body to address the real issues.
The Federation revealed that after all these years, FIFPRO does not have an affiliate body in Nigeria. It challenged the body to come to Nigeria and set up an affiliate body that can always and legitimately speak on behalf of Nigerian players, and made up of individuals who understand the culture and dynamics of the African environment.