The Super Falcons team have stormed the National Assembly protesting the non-payment of their allowances by the Nigerian Football Federation, (NFF).
The aggrieved ladies have taken their protests to NASS with the hopes that President Muhammadu Buhari, who is due to visit NASS today to present the estimates of the 2017 budget to lawmakers, will see them and show pity on their plight.
The victorious Super Falcons, affirmed their superiority on the continent for the eighth consecutive time, at the recently concluded African Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON) where they beat Cameroon (in their backyard – Yaounde) in the final.
The record-setting victory and coveted trophy was supposed to be a Christmas gift to our soccer – loving nation but, the victorious team members have been held up in a hotel in Abuja, many days after they returned to the country with the trophy, owing to non-payment of their entitlements.
They protest daily on the streets of Abuja and have vowed never to leave the hotel until their allowances were paid. Their stand off with the NFF over unpaid allowances has entered its tenth day.
NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, had arrogantly told the players to vacate their hotel lodging, as there was no money to pay them. This was in spite of an earlier assurance by the NFF Secretary General, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, that all the entitlements would be paid.
Joining voices with the team members and many other concerned Nigerians, National Association of Nigeria Professional Footballers (NANPF) has appealed to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to pay the team all outstanding allowances.
In a statement on Tuesday, former Nigeria international, Austin Popo who is General Secretary of the union said that the Super Falcons, after their conquest of Africa and made Nigeria proud, were being ridiculed by the sports’ authorities.
The union condemned the statement credited to the Minister of Sports that adequate preparation was not made to offset the players’ entitlements because he did not expect them to win the AWCON Cup.
They further asked the NFF to take responsibility by ensuring the players and officials are paid their entitlements without further delay.
NANPF stressed that they believe the situation is avoidable with proper dialogue, sensitivity and transparency on the part of the authorities, and expects the leadership of Nigeria’s sports’ authorities to make sacrifices in ensuring that the issue of players and coaches takes the centre stage above personal interest.