The Nigeria Football Federation has thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for directing that players and officials of African champions, the Super Falcons, be paid within days.
The Falcons had during the week protested at the Three Arms Zone in Abuja on Wednesday.
Ademola Olajire, NFF’s Director of Media and Communications, said on Thursday: “We are grateful to the Presidency for the prompt action, and we believe this will put the minds of the players at rest. It has been a very difficult time for the NFF; no official of the Federation was happy that the players and officials could not be paid their entitlements immediately after the tournament.
“It is not as if the Federation did not plan to pay the players and officials their entitlements. The NFF expected some money from a number of sources but this did not work out. They are champions and deserve to be treated as such; there are no doubts about that.”
Olajire also stated that there was no time the NFF directed that the players should be ejected from their Agura Hotel base and decried claims that no official went to see the players at the hotel.
He said: “The NFF is at the receiving end of all these, but at the end of the day, fair is fair. Before they left for Cameroon, the country’s Vice President went to meet with them at a training session. Also, despite the difficulties, the Federation was able to make the sum of $5,000 available to the Team Administrator for logistics. The NFF President personally visited the team and prayed with them.
“Before the team played South Africa in the semi finals, the NFF reached out to some sources and raised money to pay each player the sum of N500,000. The NFF President was on the tarmac of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos to receive the team and celebrated with them on arrival, impressed it on NFF partner Emzor to host the ladies to lunch and the company gave the team the sum of N1.6 million.
“On arrival in Abuja, the team was received by the NFF General Secretary, Head of Protocol, Head of Women’s Football and the CEO of Jedo (a private organization), Dr. Aliyu Oroje Wammako. The NFF impressed it on the management of Agura Hotel to ensure the comfort of the players and officials while the Federation went about trying to raise money to pay their entitlements.”