World soccer players union Fifpro has said it will assist the Nigeria women’s team in their pay dispute with the country’s federation concerning bonus payments, camp allowances and expenses, some of which date back to 2021.
Nigeria were knocked out of the Women’s World Cup in the Round of 16 by England on Monday after losing 4-2 on penalties, as the game ended in a 0-0 draw in regulation time.
The defeat was a tough one to take for the Nigerians, who dominated the game and were unlucky to head home after finishing second in Group B, where they held Olympic champions Canada to a draw and defeated co-hosts Australia in the group stage.
Before travelling Down Under for the Women’s World Cup, their head coach American Randy Waldrum claimed he was owed seven months’ salary and some of his players had not been paid for two years.
“Following the Nigeria women’s national 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,” Fifpro said in a statement on Tuesday.
“During the World Cup, the players expressed the desire to remain focused on their performance without making public statements or facing other distractions.
“However, the Super Falcons believe that it is now time for the Nigeria Football Federation to honor their commitments and pay the outstanding amounts.”
Past Issues Over Money
Nine-time champions of Women’s Africa Cup of Nations, Nigeria are Africa’s most successful international team. Yet they have been in dispute with the Nigeria Football Federation over money for years.
At the 2019 World Cup in France, Nigeria staged a sit-in protest after their second-round defeat to Germany and players also boycotted training before their third-place play-off at last year’s Women’s Africa Cup of Nations.
“The team is extremely frustrated that they have had to pursue the Nigeria Football Federation for these payments before and during the tournament and may have to continue doing so afterwards. It is regrettable that players needed to challenge their own federation at such an important time in their careers,” added Fifpro.
“FIFPRO will continue to work with the players to ensure their contractual rights are honoured and the outstanding payments are settled.”
Lack Of Resources
After their Women’s World Cup exit, Nigeria’s Ifeoma Onumonu highlighted the issues faced by the national team, including the lack of support and resources by the federation.
“I’ve seen what (resources) England have access to,” the Guardian quoted Onumonu as saying. “In Nigeria, we don’t have access to much. Our training fields aren’t great. Where we sleep isn’t great. Sometimes we share beds.
“It’s not good enough. In terms of recovery, we don’t have much of any of that. We don’t have access to a gym in camp in Nigeria.
“There’s a lot that needs to be done. Hopefully, more people start to talk about it. Coming here it’s hard to adjust. We do what we can because we love playing for our country but hopefully they make it easier for us to do our best.”
Nigeria are not the only team in dispute with their federation. Fellow Africans South Africa are also in the same situation, as well as European champions England and Olympic champions Canada among others.
This year, for the first time at a Women’s World Cup, players are receiving individual payments direct from organisers Fifa and Nigeria’s women will each receive $60,000 for reaching the second round, as well as being entitled to a $100 daily allowance.