Players and officials of the Nigeria’s Super Falcons staged a sit-in protest yesterday, refusing to leave their hotel in France until all of their outstanding bonuses are paid following their elimination from the ongoing FIFA Women’s World Cup.
On Saturday, the Super Falcons lost 3-0 to Germany in the Round of 16 but refused to leave their Mecure Hotel in protest over their unpaid bonuses and other outstanding payments.
It is the third time Nigeria’s women’s team will stage a sit-in protest over bonuses since 2004 in South Africa and 2016 in Abuja. The previous two occasions were after winning the Africa Cup.
According to reports, the players are demanding unpaid bonuses worth 5,600 US dollars from a win against Senegal in 2016 and a triumph against Gambia in 2018.
For prizemoney, Nigeria had already received 480,000 US dollars as preparation funds and are also entitled to one million US dollars for the team’s position fee, having reached the Round of 16.
“They paid us 1 million [naira] and said that is all. We want them to pay the balance,” one player was quoted as saying by ESPN.
“Part of that money is from two years ago, the other is from three years ago. And they are also owing us five days’ daily allowance here in France.
“Before the World Cup, we asked them for a meeting so that we could discuss our World Cup bonuses like they did with the men’s team last year. They ignored the letter and nobody said anything about it until now.”
However, Amaju Pinnick, President of the Nigeria Football Federation insisted that the football body has offset all the outstanding allowances.
“We have paid them everything they are being owed,” the NFF supremo said.
“But they insist that they want to get paid, as they have spoken to players from Cameroon and France, who told them they have already been paid.”
The Super Falcons are the fourth Nigerian national side to go on strike in demand for outstanding bonuses in the last 12 months after the U20 female team from France, the U17 boys from Tanzania and U20 men from Poland.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian players and officials have left Grenoble and expected to arrive in Abuja on Monsay after a meeting with NFF officials.
“The only thing outstanding is the participation fee from Fifa, which is not expected to come until after the tournament.