The Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, on Tuesday confirmed receiving part of the money approved by the Federal Government for the participation of some national teams in international competitions.
Ademola Olajire, NFF’s Director of Communications, said in a statement that the approved money included the fund for the Super Eagles’ participation at the ongoing 32nd Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON.
He quoted NFF’s Acting President, Seyi Akinwunmi, as saying on Tuesday that the Federation received part of the money on Tuesday morning.
Mr Olajire added that Akinwunmi had also disclosed that NFF had immediately launched the process to convert the sum to U.S. dollars to pay the players their only outstanding entitlement.
Akinwunmi had said this was the win bonus for the match against Burundi, played in Alexandria on Saturday evening, and for subsequent matches.
“We want to specially thank President Muhammadu Buhari for his keen interest in resolving this matter quickly, which has enabled us to receive part of the money in record time.
“We have immediately started the process of converting the money to U.S. dollars at the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, in order to pay the players the bonus for the win over Burundi three days ago as well as plan for subsequent games.”
Akinwunmi added also that the NFF had on Monday transferred to the players and their officials their camp allowances up to the last day of 2019 AFCON group phase matches.
He had said there was also the fund for the appearance fee for the friendly match against Zimbabwe in Asaba on June 8.
“We have paid these monies through our funds managers, Financial Derivatives Company on Monday.
“The only issue we had was that some of the players did not send their bank accounts and instead authorised the bank to pay their monies to some other individuals. The bank requested clear authorisation for this to happen.
“I was on a telephone discussion with the team captain Mikel Obi this morning and can safely say that all clarifications have been made and the usual cordial relationship and understanding between the players and we the administrators are still intact.
“I have challenged them to go all out and win the trophy, assuring them that their monies all the way to the final are guaranteed.
“It is now for the players to focus on the championship and deliver glory to the nation. I have no doubt of their ability to do that.”
Akinwunmi, who is deputising for NFF President Amaju Pinnick who is fully involved with AFCON’s organisation as its President, also
specially commended the maturity of the team and its leaders.
“The team leaders, including skipper Mikel, deserve commendation, especially for their unflinching focus on the job at hand, which is winning the AFCON trophy,’’ he said.