FIFPro Steps into Super Falcons, NFF Allowances Dispute

August 8, 2023
Super Falcons

By Adedapo Adesanya

The professional football players union, FIFPro, has said it would assist Super Falcons of Nigeria in a disagreement with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) concerning bonus payments, camp allowances and expenses, some of which date back to 2021.

This followed the exit of the Nigerian women’s football team from the ongoing FIFA Women’s World Cup on Monday after losing 4-2 on penalties to European champions, England.

Prior to the tournament, the players threatened to boycott the games in Australia and New Zealand over unpaid arrears.

The NFF made it clear it would not adhere to an agreement to give the players 30 per cent of the tournament revenue it gets from FIFA. The NFF said it would no longer pay since FIFA is paying each World Cup player a minimum of $30,000 for participating in the group stages, up to a maximum of $270,000 per World Cup winner.

On his part, Coach Randy Waldrum hit out at the local football governing body, telling the On the Whistle podcast that he was owed over 14 months of salary, with only 50 per cent paid.

“What keeps me going are the players. Otherwise, I would have quit this job long ago.

“Up until about three weeks ago, I had been owed about 14 months’ salary. And then they paid seven months’ salary. We still have players that haven’t been paid since two years ago when we played the summer series in the USA. It’s a travesty,” he lamented.

In a statement on Tuesday, FIFPro said it had moved to mediate the issue but noted that during the World Cup, the players expressed the desire to remain focused on their performance without making public statements or facing other distractions.

However, following Monday’s exit, “the Super Falcons believe that it is now time for the Nigeria Football Federation to honour their commitments and pay the outstanding amounts.”

“The team is extremely frustrated that they have had to pursue the Nigeria Football Federation for these payments before and during the tournament and may have to continue doing so afterwards. It is regrettable that players needed to challenge their own federation at such an important time in their careers,” the statement read in parts.

FIFPro said it would continue to work with the players to ensure their contractual rights are honoured, and the outstanding payments are settled.

On the part of the NFF, Mr Ademola Olajire, the body’s communications director, called Mr Waldrum the “worst Super Falcons coach in history”.

Mr Olajire said, “Everyone knows FIFA pays preparation money for every team going to the Women’s World Cup. The team travelled to Japan to play matches, travelled to Mexico for a tournament and travelled to Turkey to play matches.”

Nigeria beat the co‑hosts Australia 3-2 in a memorable game and drew goalless with Canada and the Republic of Ireland to set up the game against England.

In another interview after the game, Nigerian forward Ifeoma Onumonu told the Guardian UK, “I’ve seen what [resources] England have access to.”

“In Nigeria, we don’t have access to much. Our training fields aren’t great. Where we sleep isn’t great. Sometimes we share beds,” the player, who plies her trade in the United States for NJ/NY Gotham FC, said.

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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