The Nigeria Football Federation has revealed that it has not been able to pay the outstanding bonuses and allowances of the coaches and players of the senior men national team, Super Eagles, because of the challenges and disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement on Wednesday, titled, "Why NFF assures on payment of outstanding bonuses of Super Eagles, coaches' salaries", NFF General Secretary, Dr Mohammed Sanusi, cited the same reasons for the salaries owed the coaches of the team.
The PUNCH quoted Sanusi as saying that the effect of the pandemic is still being felt by government institutions and businesses, and "there was no need to pretend that these are normal times.
He said, "The NFF deserves no joy in owing players and coaches their entitlements. The same players and coaches have been well-taken-care of and provided the necessary facilities when things were normal, and as we work assiduously towards conquering the present challenges and seeing sunlight again, we expect the players, coaches and administrative staff to show the same level of understanding that they have been showing over the past 18 months.
"Of course, we are pragmatists and we realize that these things can be frustrating and some people will boil over and talk about them. It is normal. Last month, during the friendlies in Austria, we were able to pay some of the outstanding bonuses and allowances. We are working
at a pace presently to clear what is remaining. As I speak, we are owing the team bonuses and allowances from only the last two matches, and payments for these two games have been sent to the Central Bank some weeks ago. They will receive the monies shortly. We are equally working to pay the coaches what they are being owed as salaries."
Sanusi's comments were in direct reference to a statement credited to Super Eagles defender, Leon Balogun, on Tuesday, who said NFF owes the players bonuses and allowances.
"We have never denied owing the team. Leon is a senior player that everyone respects for his quality output on the pitch and calmness and forbearance off it, but I do not know which reports he was referring to when he said the NFF was contradicting itself."