FT World Cup News: Super Eagles players to receive bonuses before Russia appearance

Alex Iwobi of Arsenal FC and other Nigerian players will get early bonuses as NFF seeks to avoid the scourge of recent years that resulted in poor performances at FIFA World Cup tournaments as a result of bonus disputes.

The disputes over non-payment of bonuses for national players which have plagued African teams at major tournaments might just be averted by a seemingly more determined Nigerian Football Federation. The NFF boss Amaju Pinnick told Kwese ESPN that the squad would receive their bonus payments before the friendly against DR Congo on Monday.  It is understood that the players already signed a graduated bonus structure last November, which is in line with the FIFA directive to deal with bonus disputes. FIFA has already paid (USD) $2 million to national associations to aid the process with NFF raising an additional (USD) $800 000 to further their cause.

"FIFA paid $2million and we have been able to raise an additional $800 000. That is what we need to pay the players and prosecute both the remaining pre-World Cup games and the World Cup itself.T he players will be paid their share of what we agreed with them as soon as they arrive for the friendly in Nigeria." - Amaju Pinnick, NFF President

This will undoubtedly go a long in increasing Nigeria’s chances of pulling off a formidable world cup campaign. In recent years, payment disputes stifled the country’s progress with an alleged incident in the 1994 World Cup where the Super Eagles stayed up the night before their 4-1 Round of 16 humiliation by Denmark, fighting for their bonuses. Even in 2013, the team refused to board a plane for FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil, before the issue intensified at the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals. It is not only Nigeria, Ghana had to fly (USD) $3 million cash in a private jet to Brazil after the Black Stars boycotted training.