In the aftermath of the Super Falcons’ departure from the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, a fresh confrontation brews between the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) and the team, Soccernet.ng reports.
However, in this case, the Super Falcons’ representation will now be shouldered by the International Federation of Professional Footballers (FIFPRO).
The Super Falcons’ journey in the World Cup came to a halt during the round of 16, marked by a penalty shootout loss to England on Monday morning.
Despite the disappointing result, the former African champions showcased an impressive performance, participating in four matches without a loss in regular time.
They further distinguished themselves by securing three clean sheets, an accomplishment unparalleled in a single World Cup by an African team.
Super Falcons and NFF’s long-standing row
However, the team’s commendable display on the field was shadowed by an ongoing feud with the NFF over bonus payments.
Even before their World Cup campaign in Australia and New Zealand, the Super Falcons were embroiled in a contentious bonus dispute with the Nigerian Football Federation.
This long-standing issue came to a head with the revelation from head coach Randy Waldrum that he had yet to receive several months’ worth of salary, a statement that was met with sharp criticism from the NFF.
NFF’s Communications Director, Ademola Olajire, publicly labeled Waldrum as a “blabbermouth” and condemned him as the “worst Super Falcons coach in history.”
Additionally, concerns were raised by US-based player Ify Onumonu, who highlighted inadequate preparations by the NFF, noting that the team members had to share beds.
Adding to the situation’s complexities, a debate arose regarding the disbursement of match bonuses for the World Cup.
The dispute raged about whether FIFA should directly compensate the Super Falcons players or channel the payments through the NFF. Historically, delays in payments from the NFF have been a recurring issue, causing further frustration.
FIFPRO, the global union representing professional football players, has intervened to address these grievances.
In an official statement issued on Tuesday, the organization declared its commitment to engage with the NFF on behalf of the Super Falcons, seeking to secure the team’s due entitlements.
The statement from FIFPRO reads in part, “Following the Nigeria women’s football team’s elimination from the FIFA Women’s World Cup, FIFPRO can confirm it is assisting players in a disagreement with the Nigeria Football Federation concerning bonus payments, camp allowances and expenses, some of which date back to 2021.”
It further acknowledges the team’s desire to concentrate on their performance without public distractions yet asserts that the time has come for the NFF to fulfill its obligations.
The Super Falcons are Africa’s most successful female team, with a record eleven Nation’s Cup titles and an unbroken presence at every edition of the Women’s World Cup.