Nigeria’s Super Eagles camp in Alexandria, Egypt is in utter disarray as players boycotted Tuesday’s pre-match conference and also threatened to boycott Tuesday evening’s training. The players are protesting over unpaid bonuses and allowances, 48 hours after the Super Falcons staged a showdown against the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, in faraway France where they crashed out of the Women’s World Cup.
Nigeria will face Guinea in the second match on Wednesday but reports from Cairo say that the players may boycott the match if the NFF fails to meet their demands.
The Super Eagles laboured to a hard-fought win over Burundi in their first game and could earn a ticket to the Round of 16 should they triumph over the National Elephants in Alexandria.
Only coach Rohr attended Tuesday’s pre-match conference and he confirmed the disgraceful development “that the players had to stay back for an important meeting.”
Ahmed Musa failed to show up for Tuesday’s pre-match conference ahead of the Guinea match, but the Al-Nassr player preferred to stay back with his colleagues for a ‘crucial’ player’s meeting at the Helnan Palestine Hotel.
“The player showed solidarity and had to stay back for an important meeting,” said coach Rohr when quizzed by the media.
Unpaid bonuses are not new in Nigerian football. First, it was the Nigeria U20 team who embarked on a sit-in protest and refused to leave Poland after their elimination from the FIFA U20 World Cup.
Recently, the Nigeria women’s senior national team, which was kicked out of the Women’s World Cup in France, declined to leave their hotel until all outstanding bonuses were paid – a claim the NFF denied, insisting Thomas Dennerby’s ladies were not owed.
However, the Nigerian football ruling body has assured quick intervention in the matter while insisting that the players would be settled before they take on Paul Put’s team at the Alexandria Stadium.
The three-time African champions top Group B with three points. They are two points above Guinea who were forced to a 2-2 draw by debutants Madagascar on Saturday