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TheCable

Pinnick: NFF not proud to be owing — but no player survives on national team money

Pinnick: NFF not proud to be owing — but no player survives on national team money
June 02
19:05 2021

Amaju Pinnick, president of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), has lamented the inability to pay allowances of players and staff of the Super Eagles.

Ahead of the friendly match against Cameroon, several players from Gernot Rohr’s 24-man list have asked to be excused from the game, citing injuries.

The spate of withdrawals has resulted in allegations that some players are deliberately declining the call ups due to a backlog of unpaid allowances from previous games and not because they are injured.

Reacting to the news, Pinnick, in a chat with Arise TV on Wednesday, confirmed that the federation is indeed owing allowances but dismissed that as the cause for the withdrawals.

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He added that COVID-19 is the biggest reason why the federation is short of funding as its sponsors are still reeling from the economic impact of the pandemic. 

“Players did not back out because of the fact that their bonuses were not paid. No Nigerian player survives on the national team bonuses or allowances,” he said.

“The national team adds values to players. We are not proud to say that we are owing. We want everybody to be paid but there are some things we call ‘force majeure’, which means it’s beyond you.

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“There are a lot of circumstances in the last two years that made us not reach some of our obligations.

“Payment of coaches, for example, is hinged completely on our sponsorship. Because that was the contract we have with our optimum sponsor, AITEO, and they are supposed to be accounting for 30 percent of the expenses paid by the NFF. But they’ve been having challenges because of the pandemic. We engaged then but they’re incapacitated right now.”

TheCable had earlier reported the arrival of Kelechi Iheanacho and Ogenekaro Etebo in Vienna, bolstering the number of Eagles in camp to 18.

Paul Onuachu and Ahmed Musa are expected to arrive later on Wednesday.

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Nigeria will take on Cameroon on Friday at the Weiner Neustadt Stadium in Austria. The match is billed to kick off at 8:30pm.

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