THE Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) says it is greatly worried by the situation created by the failure of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to settle, until now, the allowances, bonuses and other entitlements of players and officials of the Super Falcons after winning the 10th edition of the Women’s African Cup of Nations.
According to a press release signed by Olawale Alabi, national Secretary-General of SWAN and made available to Tribunesport, “it is indeed a sad event that after making a lot of sacrifices for their fatherland, the players and officials have come to find themselves in a situation like this, where most of them cannot return to their respective bases as a result of NFF’s inability to do the right thing.”
The body said that despite the NFF’s claim of paucity of funds, the situation should not have arisen if adequate steps had been taken in the first instance to avoid such an embarrassing occurrence.
SWAN posits that NFF has an obligation it has to promptly fulfil at all times to all its players and officials, and this necessitates that it must do more in the area of sourcing for funds, instead of waiting at all times for funds from government.
SWAN therefore demands that the NFF should expedite action in getting funds to settle its debt to the Super Falcons in order not to lower standards and make service to fatherland a regrettable act.
Meanwhile, a top source in the NFF on Wednesday told Tribunesport on condition of anonymity that issue was being handled between the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Solomon Dalung and his counterpart in the Ministry of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, with a view to ensuring that money is released to pay the Falcons.
According to the source, the federation has nothing to fear in this situation as it is not that it collected money from the government but refused to pay the players.
“The minister met with them. Our General Secretary also met with them to explain the situation of things to them, yet they remain adamant and decided to protest. We have nothing to fear. The money is yet to be released to us,” the source told Tribunesport.