NFF dismiss FIFPro's claims as row over Super Falcons' owed wages continues

A dejected Oparanozie and her Super Falcons teammates as England knock out Nigeria | Imago

NFF dismiss FIFPro's claims as row over Super Falcons' owed wages continues

Ayoola Kelechi 21:42 - 08.08.2023

FIFPro's recent statement did not go down well with the NFF who have issued a strong rebuttal

The Nigeria Football Federation has released a statement debunking claims made by the World Footballers body FIFPro regarding non-payment of arrears to the Super Falcons as a “storm in a teacup,” saying that it already has a plan in place to pay players and does not need an outside body telling them what to do.

Players Union call on NFF to settle arrears

Super Falcons forward Asisast Oshoala and Super Eagles striker Victor Osimhen were among the nation’s football elite, who made a statement along with FIFPro that stated that the body was working together with players of Nigeria’s Women’s national team to ensure that the players on the team are paid what they are owed.

In reaction to the joint statement, the NFF released a statement of their own, denouncing the claims of FIFPro and the players.

NFF dismisses FIFPro’s claims

The statement started: “The Nigeria Football Federation has dismissed as nothing more than a storm in a teacup 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.

“The Federation reiterated that it had an earlier agreement with the players on what they would earn at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, but the world football governing body, FIFA, came up with a new template that guaranteed more money for the players and made players of all participating teams happier.

NFF also accused FIFPro of merely trying to gain relevance by piggybacking on the recent wave of interest in the Super Falcons, saying, “The NFF insists it does need FIFPRO shouting from far off to pay Nigerian players what they had been promised by both FIFA and the NFF, dismissing the body’s statement as a mere relevance-seeking message.”

“It recalled that its 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 NFF disclosed that 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.

“The Federation praised the team for its efforts at reaching the Round of 16 and standing up firmly to world number four England on the turf, as well as its heroics in the group phase. It noted that not losing a single match out of four in regulation time is a remarkable record by an African team.”

The NFF, however, admitted to owing the players bonuses and wages from previous friendly games but reiterated that a payment structure was already agreed with players, saying “The nation’s football-governing body states that it has no issues with the players; it had assured them before the World Cup that they would be paid the couple of friendly matches and qualifying matches for which they were being owed appearance fees and bonuses respectively. It pledges to pay the money once the World Cup money is paid.”

Finally, the NFF called on FIFPro to let them be and face “real” issues, saying, “The NFF also charges 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 challenges 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.”

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