Opinion: Can Falcons Soar Over Elephantes With Backlog of Unpaid Allowance
By Akinade Agbekoya
Super Falcons will this Saturday (today) play in the final of the 2019 Women WAFU Cup final against the host, Cote d Ivoire in Abidjan, having defeated Black Stars of Ghana in the semifinal.
Despite their spirited efforts which qualified them for the final first time, feelers from the Falcons camp reaching www.bsnsports.com.ng has it that the players as well as the officials have not been paid a dime since their arrival in Abidjan.
The nine-time African champions defeated Burkina faso 5-1, walloped Niger Republic 15-0 and pipped Mali 2-0 in their three group B matches to set a semifinal fixture against the defending champion, Black Stars of Ghana.
Black Stars having defeated Falcons at the same stage in the last edition proved too hard for Falcons to beat. The tension soaked and tough tie was settled through penalty shootout where Thomas Dennerby ladies won 4-2 after 0-0 regulation time scores.
On Friday, NFF was quoted to have said that they are ready to cater for any former international players facing financial challenges. As good as the gesture is, it must be noted that it should not be done at the expense of the present players and coaches who are their families bread winners and need to also secure their future to prevent being a burden to the federation in the future.
Nigerians are concerned on why NFF will concentrate and spend more on less important issue and events but leave the actors (national team players and coaches) who are more important to suffer following backlogs of unpaid salaries and allowances.
In Tanzania, where Golden Eaglets picked the world cup ticket and emerged fourth best team at the 2019 African Nations Cup, it was reported that they were not paid a dime until they sneaked into the country. Nigerians were baffled and disturbed when the news of Forty thousand payment for the players rented the air.
“Forty thousand naira for a national team player after spending months in the national camp and traveled to Tanzania to represent the country?” The NFF must either be joking, callous or unserious. An angry fan based in Abuja said, after reading the headline.
The home based Super Falcons have played four games at the competition after few weeks camping in Abuja and are set to play final match against Ivory Coast today. Ordinarily, Super Falcons are suppose to win the tie as they are the favourite but can they go to the pitch with 100 percent commitment when they are not sure of getting paid their backlogs of allowances? One of the reason, the Golden Eaglets failed to lift the trophy was low or no financial inducement by the NFF. A sports analyst said on national TV during a Sports programme.
“If we are not paid here in Abidjan, is it after the competition the NFF is going pay? I doubt if we are going to be paid.” One of the Falcons player said.
The truth is, if we want the best out of these players, they need to be paid as at when due. These players need the allowance now than ever because they have not received salaries from their respective clubs following non-action in the Nigeria Women League which is yet to commence even when whole world will wrap up the 2018/19 season this May.