Seventy-two days after beating Germany to finish third at the U-17 Women’s World Cup in India, the Flamingos’ players and officials have yet to receive their allowances and match bonuses with some of the players saying the punch they practically went to ask for money to celebrate Christmas.
Our correspondent has learned that while their camp allowances from February 6 to June 5, 2022 had been paid, the team bonuses for the qualifying matches they played against Congo, Egypt and Ethiopia were still to be paid.
World Cup bonuses for games against Chile, New Zealand, the United States and Germany had also not been paid to Flamingos officials and players.
One of the players, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of being victimized, said she and her teammates asked for money to celebrate Christmas and New Years.
“The NFF still hasn’t paid us our match bonuses and some other benefits and this is what we need to survive,” the player said. the punch.
“Since we came back from India we have not heard anything and we are already losing hope. Some of us are not as privileged as other children and we had to ask for money to celebrate Christmas and New Year.
Another Flamingos player added: “Christmas was hell for me because I was broke. This is because in addition to the camp bonuses that were paid to us, we have yet to receive any other bonuses and it is discouraging.
“Football is all I know and it is what I intend to use to take care of myself, but sadly we are still owed our match bonuses and other benefits from the World Cup qualifiers. I sent messages to relatives asking them to send me money to celebrate Christmas, but really, I should have been the one to send them money after playing in the World Cup.
“We have heard that some people have redeemed their financial pledges to the team, but we have not yet received them from the NFF.
“NFF President Ibrahim Gusau and Alhaji Balele promised us $10,000 each for winning the third place match, while Naija Ratels founder Paul Edeh also promised the team the sum of N3.1m. We hope that the Presidency will help us because some of us are practically asking for money”.
Our correspondent also deduced that the Falconets players, who were left out of the quarterfinal stage of the 2022 U-20 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica, were also pending payment.
One of the outstanding players of the squad said the punch“Since I came back from the World Cup in August I haven’t visited my home state because no one will believe that a World Cup player can’t even buy socks for her friends.
“We played eight qualifiers to qualify for the World Cup and they gave us just N50,000 each for qualification. At the World Cup proper, we were paid just $500 as a camp allowance, while the NFF promised to pay us our bonuses. As I speak to you, we haven’t heard from them. I was unable to send anything home to my family for the Christmas and New Years celebrations.
“After sleeping on the bare floor of Istanbul airport in Turkey, we were given just 40,000 naira each for road transport to our various states amid insecurity in the country. They couldn’t even pay for our flights back home. And now they have refused to pay us our money.”
NFF General Secretary Dr. Mohammed Sanusi declined to comment on the matter, referring our correspondent to the federation’s Director of Communications, Ademola Olajire.
“They haven’t been paid, but they will be paid,” Olajire said when contacted. “I don’t work in the accounts (department) but I know they will be paid what is owed to them.”