Super falcons of Nigeria

It is embarrassing to see Nigeria’s women’s team stage a boycott over the non-payment of both bonuses and allowances once again says former international Rachael Ayegba.

On Wednesday, the Super Falcons refused to leave their hotel rooms to train ahead of Friday’s Women’s Africa Cup of Nations third-place play-off against Zambia.

The players say they have not received their bonus from the Nigeria Football Federation for qualifying for the tournament, as well as agreed allowances and over $10,000 (N4million) owed to each of the squad for their three victories in Morocco.

Ayegba told BBC Sport Africa:

I’m really surprised and disappointed at the same time because I expected the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to have gone past this situation by now.

Because this [has been happening] over 18-20 years, yet we are still dealing with the same situation. The same thing happened to the team in the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France, and now the girls are boycotting the training.

For me, it’s embarrassing to see that nothing has changed. I saw it on social media and was dismayed and disappointed. I’m really ashamed.

Goalkeeper Ayegba was part of Nigeria’s 2004 WAFCON-winning side who staged a sit-in in their hotel in South Africa in a bid to be paid their dues, while she was also part of the 2007 Women’s World Cup squad that also had to protest to get their money.

The same scenario was repeated in 2016, shortly after Nigeria won the eighth of their record nine continental titles, and even the 2019 Women’s World Cup witnessed yet another sit-in protest over unpaid salaries and bonuses.

Despite the shame which she believes such incidents bring her nation, Ayegba says the Super Falcons squad have no other option if they are to receive their financial allocations.

She said:

When you go to work, you expect to be paid – so for me, this is the only way for the players.

Because they know if they don’t do this right now and the competition is then over, the money is gone. So unfortunately, the players have to keep doing this.

BBCsport

By Amara

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