•Falcons threaten to boycott W/Cup opener

•Amid row over match bonuses

Nigeria’s women’s national team are planning strike action by boycotting their opening game of the 2023 Women’s World Cup in response to an ongoing dispute surrounding match bonuses.

The Super Falcons, who were drawn into Group B with co-hosts Australia, Canada and Ireland, have been engrossed in a heated row with the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) after accusations that the governing body had failed to properly compensate players, as well as a cancellation of a preparation camp just weeks before the team travelled to Australia and New Zealand.

Nigeria are set to face Olympic champions Canada in their opening group stage match on July 21 but reports suggest that the team are likely to boycott the match if the situation is not resolved.

Head coach Randy Waldrum called out the NFF recently, stating on the Sounding Off On Soccer Podcast : “I joke about it with people here in the U.S. We have less days than a college pre-season to get ready for a World Cup. It blows my mind.

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“We had to pick a final 23 based on the last camp. Some of these players have been off since May, so I really don’t know the physical condition that they’re in, despite sending them programmes to follow.”

Boycotts are not unchartered territory for Nigeria, who refused to participate in a training session last summer ahead of their third-place play-off match against Zambia at the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations due to compensation issues. None of the Super Falcons players has received their allocated allowances or bonus of over $10,000 for previous wins over Botswana, Burundi and Cameroon.

“Players refused to come out of their hotel rooms, no training, no recovery and didn’t take care of their bodies,” Waldrum continued. “The federation flew in the night before we played Zambia and brought a little bit of money, and pacified them with a little bit of money.”

“They met with the team and wanted to discuss why and what it would be like moving forward, so we had a team meeting that night, at about 10 p.m. We played the next afternoon at 4 p.m.”

The women’s national team has represented Nigeria at the Women’s World Cup at all eight previous iterations of the tournament, one of only seven teams to do so. Despite the rich history, however, Nigeria’s successes have been modest, with the Super Falcons progressing to the knockout phase on just two occasions.