The Nigeria Football Federation has debunked comments by Chairman of the House of Reps’ Committee on Sports, Hon. Godfrey Ali Gaiya on the bonus issue of the Senior National Team, Super Eagles.
Speaking in Abuja on Tuesday, Chairman of the NFF Media and PublicityCommittee, Chief Emeka Inyama said Gaiya’s attacks on the Football House were unwarranted, and should not have come from someone like him who is highly informed about the operations and constraints of the football-governing body.
“The NFF can only operate with the funds made available to it. We are taken aback by the attacks because Hon. Gaiya knows everything that’s
going on, including the reasons why we have to slash bonus and downsize technical/backroom staff,” Inyama disclosed.
Giving an insight into efforts made by the NFF to carry the players and officials along in the bonus slash, Inyama said he was aware of
meetings convened by NFF President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari with Coach Stephen Keshi and other members of the team’s Management in Abuja, and with Keshi and some of the senior players in Nairobi and Windhoek.
“The NFF President was very transparent in explaining to the Coach and the players why the bonus had to be slashed. The NFF was allocated the
sum of N1.8 billion for this year, out of which N1.5 billion is for sporting activities, and we have been told that the sum of N790 million given to us to prosecute the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa would be deducted from that sum.
“In the event, we are left with the sum of N710 million for our sporting activities for the whole of this year. We have to service our different National Teams (Super Eagles, U-23 Men, U-20 Men, U-17 Boys, Super Falcons, U-20 girls, U-17 girls, Beach Soccer, Home-based Eagles, U-13 boys) from this amount, for the rest of the year.
“The NFF President explained all this, and why we had to be pragmatic. He pleaded for their understanding and they agreed. But we are shocked at what later transpired.”
“Gaiya also talked about sponsorship. The truth is, it would have been difficult to carry out our major activities as we do without funds from sponsors. But he showed his lack of understanding again by saying that sponsors pay players’ bonuses. They do not.”
Inyama lashed out at other commentators and so-called analysts who have been having a go at the NFF over the matter.
“For some people, it is just fashionable to blame the NFF for anything and for everything. People should try to be rational and be logical. I am surprised that a former NFF Secretary General, Hon. Sani Ahmed Toro, was blaming the NFF. He ought to know better.
“The NFF Executive Committee thought deeply about this bonus issue
before taking a decision to slash, and also to downsize the technical/backroom staff. It is the best option in the circumstances and we would not go back on our decision.”
– Sola Rogers (Twitter – @solarogers), News Bytes Sports Desk
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