Sports News of Tuesday, 5 December 2017
Host of BBC’s Focus on Africa Peter Okwoche says the decision by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to negotiate with players of the Super Eagles and have a payment structure for the 2018 World Cup stems from their resolve not to suffer the same disgrace Ghana experienced during the 2014 World Cup.
Ghana earned a global status of buffoonery and absurdity at the 2014 World Cup when the then government decided to fly 3million dollars to players of the Black Stars in Brazil to prevent a boycott of their final group game against Portugal.
According to the world-renowned broadcaster, Nigeria has learnt from that unfortunate and disgraceful episode.
Speaking in an interview with Accra-based Joy FM, Peter Okwoche defended the NFF actions with the reason that the move will forestall a repetition of what happened in 2014.
According to him the agreement between the NFF and the players will remove the challenges that come with last-minute bonus discussions and also help the players concentrate on their games.
“What I heard from Amaju Pinnick who is the president of the NFF is that it not a contract per-se but an agreement with the players on how they are going to be paid their money and when they will be paid. We all remember when in 2014 when we wake up on morning only to hear that Ghana players were threatening to boycott a match and Nigeria players were boycotting training. You can’t take this attitude to the World Cup if you want to be taken seriously”.
“If you don’t put in place such a measure, you become a laughing stock, players miss two or three training sessions when Brazil, Sweden and Germany have been training. You get on the pitch with them and it becomes impossible to beat them. I think it’s good to get all these things clear right now so that we all go there with a footballing mind and footballing spirit that we can do the business”, he disclosed.
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) signed an agreement on the payment structure for the 2018 World Cup, with Super Eagles players on Tuesday 14th November, 2017.
A statement from the NFF confirmed that the agreement was signed after a meeting between the players and officials of the federation on Sunday, where the details were discussed.
NFF president Amaju Pinnick, explained that this was to avoid crisis and distraction at the tournament next year.
“We have concluded negotiations and come to an agreement with the team as regards bonuses, allowances and share of income from FIFA for the 2018 World Cup,” vice-president Shehu Dikko noted.
“Every detail has been agreed on match bonus for each match and each round up to the final as well as share of income from FIFA money for each round until the stage we are able to get to at the finals. “We also agreed on preparation, such as how much players will be paid for the friendly matches, including how and when the monies would be paid,” he added.
“We even delved into how the NFF would apply the funds due to it from FIFA after paying the players their share,” he said.
Captain Mikel John Obi, who signed on behalf of the players, along with Ahmed Musa, added: “We are very happy and excited with this development.
This is the first time since I started playing for the senior team that I would see everything regarding preparation and bonuses and allowances put down in black and white and a binding agreement executed.
“It is reassuring that we now have a Federation leadership so committed to making everything work that they arranged this meeting and allowed the players to contribute and then set out to sign the agreement.”
Representing the NFF at the meeting were President Amaju Pinnick, Vice Presidents Seyi Akinwunmi and Shehu Dikko, General Secretary Mohammed Sanusi and Technical and Development Committee chairman Yusuf Ahmed Fresh, while Technical Adviser Gernot Rohr, Chief Coach Salisu Yusuf and Team Administrator Enebi Achor were also present.
Players Kenneth Omeruo and William Troost-Ekong were also in attendance.