Nigeria’s Super Falcons’ Captain lifted the AWCON Cup after beaten Cameroon in the final of the tournament. PHOTO: CAF
The hold-on-to-trophy protest embarked upon by players of the Super Falcons over non-payment of their wages may extend beyond Monday, December 12, which the Federal Government has set aside to mark the birth of Prophet Muhammad.
Workers at both the federal and state level are gearing up for the Eid-El Maulud festival, but the Super Falcons say they will not vacate the Agura hotel in Abuja until their demand is looked into.
The team returned from Yaounde, Cameroon, where they won the 10th African Women’s Nations Cup title last Sunday only to embark on strike, following inability of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to pay their camp allowances, match bonuses and nine months salaries for the coaches.
Minister for Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, had on Wednesday shocked Nigerians when he said the government has no money to offset the outstanding owed the players due to economic meltdown.
The declaration by Lai Muhammed was followed by another shocker on Thursday, this time, by the Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung, who said that nobody even knew the Super Falcons will emerge victorious in Cameroon.
The Guardian learnt yesterday that the players have vowed to remain in Agura hotel until government settles their demand.
The girls are holding on to the Africa Nations Cup trophy in Agura hotel, claiming that the NFF is yet to settle their outstanding bonuses and allowances to the tune of $25,000.
One of the players told The Guardian in a telephone chat yesterday that they are not leaving saying: “nobody has come tell us anything. The only thing we heard was that some top government officials are already working on it. We are tired of these promises, but that does not mean we are in a hurry to leave here. We will spend the public holiday here,” the player said.
Another source in the team however, said yesterday that the presidency had decided to wade into the players’ protest, but their demand can only be settled after the Eid-El Maulud festival.
It would be recalled that the Falcons defeated host, Lionesses of Cameroon 1-0 to lift their eight African Nations Cup title on December 3 in Yaounde.