Super Falcons’ goal scorer, Desire Oparanozie (left) takes on a Banyana Banyana’ defender during Nigeria’s semifinal game against South Africa at the on-going African Women Nations Cup in Limbe, Cameroun…yesterday. PHOTO: CAF.
Former coach of the Super Falcons, Ismail Mabo, has advised the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to meet with the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development to find a solution to the impasse created by the bodies’ inability to settle the unpaid bonuses and other emoluments owed the players and officials of the women national football team (Super Falcons).
The Super Falcons recently won the Africa Women Cup of Nations (AWCON) hosted by Cameroun. However, since returning to Nigeria, the team has been on a lockdown at the Agura Hotels, Abuja, with the vow that they would not vacate the place until all their emoluments were settled to the last kobo.
Speaking to The Guardian yesterday, Mabo said it was unfortunate that the NFF has been unable to settle the Falcons’ allowances because they were not ready for the team’s triumph in Cameroun, adding, “My advice for the NFF is to meet the Sports Ministry and see how these ladies can be settled so that they can go back and meet their families. If they have to borrow let them do that quickly and save the nation the embarrassment we are currently experiencing.
“I think the reason why the football house was not prepared in the first place was because they had lost confidence in the ability of the girls to win the cup. But God Almighty in His infinite mercy gave the girls the ability to win the cup for Nigeria.”
He argued that the senior men’s team, the Super Eagles, were treated differently from the Falcons, adding that the girls deserved more from the sports authorities.
“I do not think the girls and the federation entered into any agreement before the tournament. This is the usual thing done before any championship but both parties failed to do that before the tournament.
“My advice, however, is that both the NFF and the sports ministry should attend to these girls and for them to return to their families. Some of these girls are breadwinners and they need to take something back home after representing their motherland well,” he added.