Victorious Falcons return, take protest to Abuja
Players may protest unpaid allowances
Players and officials of the victorious Super Falcons arrived in Lagos yesterday from Cameroon, where they defeated the Lionesses to win their 10th African Women Nations Cup title.
The players were received at the Murtala Muhammad Airport by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President, Amaju Pinnick and other board members, including Alhaji Ibrahim Gusau.
Amaju led the team from the airport to Ikoyi, where the chairman of Emzor Pharmaceuticals, which is one of the official sponsors of the NFF, had lunch with the players and officials.
After the visit with Emzor officials, the team left for Abuja, where they hope that Sports Minister and the NFF will make good their promises of settling their outstanding allowances.
Some of the players told The Guardian that they would be forced to openly protest their unpaid wages or refuse to vacate their hotel rooms if the officials failed to pay their outstanding allowances.
According to some of the players, who spoke with The Guardian aboard the Asky Airline flight yesterday from Douala to Lagos, said they would not leave Abuja without their entitlements.
The players said they were surprised that the Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung, had the money to charter a plane from Nigeria, which waited for him until after the final game against Cameroon when he is telling everybody that there is no money for the team.
The players said that if the minister and his large entourage which compromises Amaju, Shehu Dikko, Seyi Akinwunmi, Chris Green, Dr. Emmanuel Ikpeme and some government officials could sneak into Yaoundé on a chartered flight just to watch the final and sneak out without having a word with them, they should be able to look for money to settle them.
One of the players, who pleaded anonymity, said, “the Cameroonian team was promised 22 million CFA, which is N20 million, if they could beat us, but even our allowances have not been paid.”
She said that while the coaches are owed their monthly salaries and camp allowances and match bonuses since March, the players are yet to receive winning bonuses for the two qualifiers against Senegal, as well as camp allowances for their period in camp and the winning bonuses for all matches in Cameroon.