Hold-on-to-trophy protest continues in Abuja
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) said yesterday it had no plan to ban some players and coaches of the Super Falcons for their role in the on-going faceoff over unpaid entitlements.
The Falcons, who defeated the host, Lionesses of Cameroun to win their eighth Africa Women Cup of Nations (AWCON) title on December 3 in Yaoundé, had been on strike in Abuja over the failure of the NFF to settle their wages.
There were reports that no less than 10 of the players and some officials would be banned for life for ‘ridiculing their fatherland before the international media.’
Specifically, USA-based striker, Francisca Ordega, was mentioned, as one of the players that could to be axed over alleged comment that she regretted playing for the country. Ordega has since distanced herself from that comment.
President of the NFF, Amaju Pinnick, Secretary General Dr. Mohammed Sanusi as well as Spokesman of the body, Ademola Olajire told The Guardian in separate interviews that there was no iota of truth in such story.
“How can people cook up such a story?” Pinnick asked. There is nothing of such. They are our players and we will continue to appeal to them to see reason with the NFF in view of the tight economic situation we are currently. Their wages will be given to them as soon as we get money. To say that the NFF is planning to ban some of the players and coaches for life is out of it.”
On his part, the Secretary General said in a message to The Guardian yesterday: “To the best of my knowledge, nobody has said such a thing.”
Olajire also said: “Never. Nobody ever said that. Such story came from people who cannot breathe without writing something negative about the NFF. It is not practical and will not happen.”
Meanwhile, the players are still holding unto the African Nations Cup trophy at the Agura Hotel in Abuja.
Some of the players who spoke with The Guardian yesterday vowed never to vacate the hotel until they are settled.
One of them said: “The NFF paid N100,000 into our bank accounts on Friday and pleaded that we should go. No way. We want our money in full.”