Fear of youth occupying the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, headquarters in the Package B of the MKO Abiola Stadium, Abuja, we gathered, was responsible for the payment of the 2018 U20 Women’s National team on Friday 6th November, 2020.
For the past two years, the Falconets players have been begging the NFF for the payment of their match bonuses and allowance for the qualification of the 2018 FIFA U20 World Cup in France. However, part of the money was paid after they played in the African qualifiers for the world cup, and also played at the World Cup finals in France.
The NFF, despite payment of N700m by the Federal Government through the former Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung to settle their debts which included the money they owed Super Falcons, Flamingos and Falconets was not used for settling the debts.
“When the 2018 Falconets players complained about their bonuses and allowances that were not paid by the NFF, I approved the sum of Seven hundred million (N700,000,000) naira to settle the debts of the Super Falcons, Falconets and Flamingo but it seems they didn’t pay those girls.” Dalung told journalists in Abuja in 2018.
However, the drama took a new turn as the players threatened to engage the Nigerian youths and occupy the NFF Headquarters otherwise known as Sunday Dankaro House.
Taking a cue from the protest of #EndSARS, the players in a message to the NFF President, Amaju Pinnick threatened to involve Nigerian youths in their protest and occupy the secretariat in Abuja, adding that what happened to APC national leader, Ahmed Tinubu whose TV station and newspaper company were burnt will soon happen to Pinnick.
The three letters read; “Good day sir, I humbly write on behalf of the under 20 Falconets on our payment , sir, the girls are demanding for their match bonus from 2016-2018 match bonus , sir we did not intend to do this, but if our payment is not made we are all going out there to inform the Nigerian youth for protest in your existing office. Beside that, you have a child like us, pay our money. We the girls are angry. If not, some things that happen to Tinubu will soon happen in your environment and we are going to let the whole world know about it. Thanks. The first batch of the SMS from players stated.
The second (SMS) which was sent in November 2020 reads.
“Good evening sir, we, the under 20 Girls are writing in respect to show how deeply we are angry, that our money is not been paid to us yet we demand for our match allowances/bonus. During the tenure of Maigari and Lulu they always pay but during your time nothing has been done. Why are you so heartless? Pay our money and be free from the youths.
And the third SMS, sent to the former Head of Football, NFF, Ruth David reads: “Good day madam, we the under 20 girls are here to informed you that if our money is not pay in the next one week, we are going to take you to Human Rights Commission and ICRC because you people think we don’t know our right. This is to inform you that we know our (right), we are giving you the respect because you are our boss, but if you don’t , you are going to vomit all the money you ate in NFF.”
The Nigeria Football Federation bigwigs having received the threat SMS from the players ordered the payment of Falconets players on Friday 6th November, 2020.
Those players who were selected and played all the six qualifier games received Five hundred (N500,000), those that played five and four games were paid Four hundred and twenty thousand naira (N420,000) while players dressed for three games got Two hundred and fifty thousand (N250,000) alerts.
However, players who were listed for one match got Eighty four thousand (N84,000).