Eagles go on strike!, Minister takes case to Presidency


Apparently stung by the national embarrassment that reared its ugly head in far away Windhoek where the Super Eagles are locked in dispute over match bonus with Nigeria Football Federation, Sports Minister and Chairman of National Sports Commission, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi has stepped into the face-off to prevent the team from boycotting the Confederations Cup.

The bonus row between the Super Eagles players and the Nigeria Football Federation was amicably resolved after both parties agreed to bury the hatchet and let sleeping dogs lie till after the African Champions who forced the Brave Warriors of Namibia to a 1 -1 draw on Wednesday to remain on top of their group with nine points were scheduled to  fly out of Windhoek to Johannesburg on Thursday afternoon, and be on their way to Sao Paulo.  They were to  arrive Sao Paulo and connect  to Belo Horizonte, venue of their first match of the FIFA Confederations Cup tournament against Tahiti, which comes up on Monday.

File photo: Nigerian players pose prior to the 2013 African Cup of Nations semi-final football match Mali vs Nigeria AFP PHOTO

File photo: Nigerian players pose prior to the 2013 African Cup of Nations semi-final football match Mali vs Nigeria AFP PHOTO

But none of that happened as the players were adamant to pleas by the Football Federation President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari who explained that the body could not afford to pay $10,000 winning bonus to each player and $5,000 for a draw.  Maigari we learnt pleaded that the NFF could only afford $5,000 bonus for a win and $2,500 for a draw. His pleas, however,  fell on deaf ears as the revolting players refused to shift ground.

Sports Vanguard gathered that another of the player’s grievances centred on the cutting of the backroom staff of the team, a situation that saw the exit of workaholic assistant coach, Sylvanus Okpalla and Valerie Houdenmou, who coach Stephen Keshi had to employ and pay from his own (Keshi) salary. The players threatened that they would head back to their various clubs if these backroom staffs were not re-called.

We learnt that an embattled NFF President Maigari placed a call to Sports Minister, Bolaji Abdullahi who took the matter to the Presidency to avert a national embarrassment.

And a very reliable source said yesterday that the Minister got additional funds to pay the full bonuses of the players and allow them partake in the Confederations Cup.

“Yes, the Minister got additional funds from the Presidency for the players. We’re making calls to both the NFF and the players to sheath their sword and proceed to Brazil for the Confederations Cup”, the source informed.

Nigeria sit atop Group F with nine points, two more than Malawi’s Flames, whom they confront in Nigeria in the first week of September.

The Eagles need only a draw from that match to reach the 10-nation final elimination round of the African series for 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Source: Vanguard



  1. This is the kind of story you hear in Nigeria. Persons appear not to be honorable any more once it concerns money. Greed is the chorus. How can they renege on promises with such flimsy excuse? Couldn’t they have discussed this with the players instead of informing them after they have taken decision? By the way who says the football house is having cash problem, Yet most of the hangers on that make the trip are girl friends to the officials? I think the players should rightfully demand for that full payment or nothing.
    Kudos to captain Enyiama and other players.


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