Members of the senior national football team, the Super Eagles who are due to arrive Brazil tomorrow ahead of their Group F opening match against Iran in the 2014 World Cup are demanding from the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), their share of the $8million qualification bonus from FIFA.
It was learnt at the weekend that the Eagles led by skipper Joseph Yobo and influential John Mikel Obi, met with the leadership of the NFF to demand an appearance fee for the World Cup.
This is outside the graduated match bonus, which starts at $10,000-a-man for a first round match
win, announced for the players for after qualifying for the Mundial.
Although it has not snowballed into the situation in the Camerounian camp that led the Indomitable Lions refusing to board the Rio bound aircraft yesterday, an agreement is believed to have been reached for the payment to the players.
A similar thing happened at the last edition in South Africa four years ago and again shortly before heading for last year’s Confederation Cup in Brazil.
“The players led by Yobo and Mikel met with NFF President, Aminu Maigari, and some of his officials to demand for their own share of the cash FIFA will pay the country for at least featuring in the first round of the World Cup,” a top source informed AfricanFootball website.
The Super Eagles will earn more than $9 million for qualification and participation in the first round of the 2014 World Cup and they will get more if they reach the knockout stages of the competition.
For the World Cup warm-ups against Scotland, Greece and USA, each player received an appearance fee of $3,000.
Fellow World Cup finalists Ghana are on an appearance fee of $75,000-a-man for the 23 players who made the final cut to Brazil 2014.
It would be recalled that a row over such a fee derailed the Super Eagles at the 1998
World Cup in France as players and officials were locked in lengthy meetings to resolve
Most recently, another pay row almost caused the country to miss out on the 2013 FIFA
Confederations Cup in Brazil, before the Presidency intervened to avoid an international
This has led to the introduction of a code of conduct for the Eagles.
The team players and officials are due in Sao Paolo, Brazil, tomorrow after the two tune-up matches against Greece and USA in America.
However, a member of the Sani Lulu-led NFF management team revealed that Super Eagles players who played at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa were paid 25 per cent of the over $8m World Cup bonus the federation received as qualification bonus from FIFA.
The member, who worked in the NFF secretariat headed then by Dr Bolaji Ojo-Oba but who preferred not to be named revealed that the federation and the players met and it was agreed that the players will get 25 per cent of the total money expected from FIFA.
“I was in that meeting and we agreed that the players will get one quarter of the amount
because they worked for it,” said the member who further revealed that $500,000 was given to the players in South Africa as advance payment with the promise that the remaining amount will be paid when FIFA pays the money.
“I remember that Alhaji Sani Lulu, Chief Taiwo Ogunjobi and Dr Bolaji Ojo-Oba gave the players $500,000 to share during the World Cup,'' he revealed, adding that the current situation should not create any distraction in camp.
“The good thing is that Alhaji Aminu Maigari was a strong part of the board and I am sure he understands better. It is the legitimate right of the players,'' concludes the top football official.