The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has confirmed receiving part of the money approved by the Federal Government for participation of some national teams in international competitions, including the Super Eagles’ participation at the ongoing 32nd Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt.
NFF’s Acting President, Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi (in the absence of the board’s President, Amaju Pinnick, who is fully involved with organisation of AFCON), said the federation received part of the money yesterday morning, and immediately launched the process to convert same to American dollars to pay the players their only outstanding entitlement – the win bonus for the match against Burundi in Alexandria, last Saturday– and for subsequent matches.
“We want to specially thank President Muhammadu Buhari for his keen interest in resolving this matter quickly, which has enabled us to receive part of the money in record time. We have immediately started the process of converting the money to American dollars at the Central Bank, in order to pay the players the bonus for the win over Burundi three days ago, as well as plan for subsequent games,” Akinwunmi said in a statement, yesterday.
He added that on Monday, the NFF had transferred to the players and their officials allowances up to the last day of the group phase matches at the AFCON 2019, as well as the appearance fee for the friendly against Zimbabwe in Asaba on June 8.
“We have paid the monies through our funds managers, Financial Derivatives Company, on Monday, June 24, 2019. The only issue we had was some players did not send their bank accounts and, instead, authorised the bank to pay their monies to some other individuals. The bank requested clear authorisation for this to happen.
“I was on a telephone discussion with the captain of the team, Mikel Obi, this morning and can safely say that all clarifications have been made, and the usual cordial relationship and understanding between the players and we the administrators is still intact. I have challenged them to go all out and win the trophy, assuring them that their monies all the way to the final is guaranteed. It is now for the players to focus on the championship and deliver glory to the nation. I have no doubt of their ability to do that.”
Akinwunmi also specially commended the maturity of the team and its leaders, including skipper Mikel John Obi and for their unflinching focus on the job at hand which is winning the AFCON Trophy.