December 2, 2023

Nigeria's Onomi Ebi celebrates qualifying for the 2023 Women's World Cup
Nigeria qualified for the 2023 Women’s World Cup by reaching the last four at Wafcon last month

The Nigerian team is still waiting for the country’s national football federation (NFF) and the Ministry of Sports to settle outstanding dues from last month’s Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (Wafcon) and other training camps.

The Super Falcons boycott training before the third-place play-off against Zambia on July 22 for non-payment of bonuses and allowances.

Each player is owed over $10,000, which includes win bonuses for their three wins en route to the semi-finals in Morocco.

The NFF insists the money will be paid soon, but a member of the team said the players have been “differently lied to”.

“They said the money had been approved and would reach us in a few days – that was before the Zambia game,” the player told BBC Sport Africa.

“Now it’s gone from that to ridiculous excuses like wrong account numbers to network issues. The lies and disrespect clearly show they like to treat the women’s team like the unwanted child.

“The Ministry of Sports has always been quick to celebrate our success with big statements, but since this money problem started, it has been very quiet.

“Imagine if one of their daughters played for Nigeria – would they treat her like this?”

BBC Sport Africa has contacted both the NFF and the Ministry of Sports for comment.

Daily allowances while the team was in Morocco, totaling $2,800, and money for a pre-tournament camp in Abuja have been paid to the team.

But along with the North Africa win bonuses, the Super Falcons players are yet to receive travel-related sums to Austria and Canada as well as a bonus for beating Ivory Coast over two legs to qualify for the Wafcon finals.

Some players feared they would not be paid after the tournament, but cut off their protest and finished fourth after losing 1-0 to the Copper Queens.

“The players should get the money this week because it has been processed,” an NFF official told BBC Sport Africa on Wednesday.

Nine-time African champions Nigeria qualified for the 2023 Women’s World Cup by reaching the last four of this year’s Wafcon, before losing to hosts Morocco on penalties.

Deja vu for Super Falcons

It is not the first time players of Africa’s most successful women’s team have protested unpaid bonuses, with the Super Falcons participating in hotel sit-ins twice before at previous Wafcons.

The first came to South Africa in 2004 after the West Africans won the title, with another one in 2016 in Abuja after claiming their eighth continental crown in Cameroon.

At the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France, the players directed another sit-in protest over unpaid wages and allowances after Germany’s round of 16 elimination.

Each Nigerian player in Morocco is entitled to $100 daily allowance and $6,000 for their two wins in the group stage.

Following a recent payout review, players can also expect $5,000 for their quarter-final win, but have lost the proposed payouts of $7,000 and $10,000 for possible wins in the semi-final and final respectively.

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