Izilien, NFF trade words over ‘missing file’
Former Super Falcons Coach Godwin Izilien has described as ‘blatant lie’ claims by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) that the files containing documents of his unpaid wages since 2004 are missing from the Glass House.
Izilien led the Falcons to win the African Nations Cup in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2004 during the administration of then NFA Chairman, Ibrahim Galadima. It was the fourth AWC title for Nigeria.
But for 13 years, the coach and his assistants are still being owed salary arrears of over $28,750, out of which, $12,000 belongs to Izilien. That was aside the sum of N4 million.
But as the NFF began the process of clearing wages owed to national team coaches during the week, Izilien’s name is not listed among those owed by the federation. The reason is that his file cannot be traced, according to the chairman of NFF Technical Committee, Barrister Chris Green. The NFF and Aiteo Group had signed a 5-year, N2.5bn partnership deal to cover payment of coaches last month.
On Tuesday, about 15 coaches were at the NFF offices in Abuja to meet with the three-man technical and establishment committee headed by Green for the reconciliation and harmonization of outstanding wages.
Green had told The Guardian on Thursday that he tried his possible best to trace Izilien’s file, but no luck. “As at 2004, it was purely the sports ministry that was in-charge of football, so it is very difficult to trace the files. Even if we had the file, it means we have to write to Aiteo Group for special dispensation in the case of coach Izilien for transparency. I love coach Izilien so much but there is nothing I can do about his case,” Green stated.
But such explanation is not going down well with Coach Izilien, who said yesterday that the NFF was not saying the truth regarding his file.
“It can’t be true that my file is missing from the NFF office,” Izilien said. “Earlier this year, one Mr. Bola, a staff of the NFF told me that he worked on the file. It was not also true that the sports ministry was in-charge when we won the AWC title in 2004. It was during Ibrahim Galadima’s tenure. They know where to trace my file if actually the NFF wants to pay me,” Izilien added.