Nigeria, Malawi tie: Bonus crisis looms again

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From ROMANUS UGWU, Abuja

There are strong indications that the Super Eagles players/officials and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) might resume hostilities over the slash in the winning bonus, as the Glass House has warned any of the players and officials, who is not ready to accept the $5, 000 winning bonus to stay out of the Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier tie against the Flames of Malawi this weekend.

The Chairman of the NFF Media Sub-committee, Chief Emeka Inyama, who sounded the warning in a chat with the media in Abuja yesterday, maintained that the decision of the federation to insist on the bonus slash, even before the panel’s recommendation, was due to paucity of fund currently facing the federation, stressing that NFF currently owed most of the national team coaches and members of staff of the federation backlog of salaries.

Chief Inyama, who doubles as chairman of the Nigeria National League (NNL) reacted to calls for the NFF to ensure that it did not jeopardise the victory against Malawi and the World Cup ticket with the bonus, noted that the federation might decide to motivate the players and officials, due to the importance attached to the ticket.

While adding that any decision by the federation must not be under any form of compulsion, Chief Inyama noted: “As you are aware, the NFF has insisted that we are paying $5, 000. The board has approved it and the committee inaugurated by the honourable Sports Minister, also recommended it.

“The NFF made it clear to the players in Kenya and Namibia that it is what it can afford for the period. The salaries of the coaches and the salaries of some of the staff have not been paid, just because the federation has no money. There is no money, that is the truth. Now it is a matter of choice, if you don’t want to play on $5, 000, you quit, this is very simple.

“The match is here and we have made it clear that this is what we are going to pay, if any of the players feels he is not ready to accept what we have offered, the choice will be for him to either accept it of quit,” the federation warned in clear terms.

The Nigeria football governing body however noted: “But, one thing is very clear here, it will only be left for the NFF to decide whether they will double the winning bonus for the match, knowing the importance it attached to the World Cup ticket. Also in matches of this nature, sometimes you go out of your way to motivate the boys,” Inyama added.

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