The Nigerian women’s World Cup squad has threatened to stage a sit-in protest, after claiming that unpaid bonuses and allowances haven’t been processed by the Nigerian Football Federation after their last-16 defeat by Germany.
A member of the squad told the BBC that, following the team’s elimination from the tournament, the squad held an overnight meeting in their hotel with Aisha Falode, president of the Nigeria Women Football League, after which, it is understood, the unpaid bonuses – some of which date back to 2016 – will finally be allocated to the players.
The team agreed to end talks of a sit-in protest and leave the hotel, though three players missed flights back to their clubs as a result. Talks are also understood to have taken place between players and members of the Nigeria Football Federation board.
The outstanding money is understood to include payments for participating in the Women’s World Cup, which is currently ongoing. However, the matter is complicated by the fact that FIFA is not expected to release the funds to the various administrative bodies until later this year.
Ladies @NGSuper_Falcons be proud of yourself, yes it’s the end of the race for us but you know what? You all were amazing.
There are so many fans out there who still stand by us come rain or shine, ignore the negative and heartless one they’ve nothing to offer. pic.twitter.com/guTE4EVnsc
— ngozi okobi (@NgoziOkobi) June 23, 2019
The Nigerian women’s team, sometimes known as the Super Falcons, have only been paid around half of the two million Nigerian naira (around $5,600) they are owed from international fixtures dating back several years.
The BBC reports that five players have now received their bonuses, with further funds set to be released by the Nigeria Football Federation.
This isn’t the first time that the Super Falcons have resorted to such measures. In 2016 following a successful Africa Cup of Nations campaign, the team staged a public dispute regarding wages in Abuja, Nigeria. In 2004, they staged a three-day sit-in protest at the team hotel on a similar pretext.
Nigeria exited the Women’s World Cup on Saturday, losing 3-0 to Germany.