Chieftains of the Nigeria Football Federation are trying to douse the tension in the camp of the Golden Eaglets as the players are agitating over the NFF’s decision to ask them to go to their various homes with N40,000 each as transport fares upon their return from the CAF U-17 African Cup of Nations which ended at the weekend in Tanzania.
It was learnt that the youngsters had been groaning over the neglect and non-charlatan attitude of the federation towards their welfare at the tournament and were utterly disappointed they were asked to go home with paltry N40, 000 each after spending time in camp and few weeks in Tanzania. According to one of them who pleaded anonymity, the players had resolved to reject the money and expect the federation to give them something substantial.
“Officials have informed us that they are planning to give us N40,000 for transport tomorrow (Wednesday) but we are not going to accept that.
It is not good that we spent several weeks in camp and were in that tournament for two weeks and now they want us to go to our houses with that kind of money,” a player said. The NFF has adopted a policy which eliminates match winning bonus for agegrade teams; players of the national U-17 and U-20 squads (male and female) are only entitled to allowances.
The NFF blamed its lean pulse for the decision. The Eaglets finished fourth at the tournament after they lost their Third place match to Angola but picked the ticket for the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Brazil slated to take place later in the year.
Another Golden Eaglets player revealed that the youngsters were forced to wear the same jersey they used in training on match days.
“We were practically washing our jerseys, this thing affected our performance; we were not happy that the same kits that we used for training were what we put on match days,” he said.
Sources said the NFF told the players the kits meant for the competition got missing and they had to make do with what they had. It will be recalled that the NFF was faced with similar circumstance four years ago when it asked the newly-crowned U-17 World Cup champions to go home with N20,000 each, a development that attracted widespread condemnation.