Russia 2018: NFF agrees on preparations, payment structure for the Super Eagles

Ahead of the Russia 2018 World Cup, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has assured Nigerians and the Super Eagles that there will be no challenges over funds.

Why it matters: It has been a “tradition” of owing the players to the extent that they have to fend for themselves, in terms of traveling expenses, just like it seemed was going to happen at the last Olympics.

Also, at the last World Cup in Brazil, the Super Eagles missed a training session in protest over bonuses, allowances and their share of the income from FIFA.

The NFF vice-president, Shehu Dikko, said there would not be any financial impediments to the Super Eagles run at the World Cup.

The federation on Wednesday reached an agreement with the players on pay structure for the mundial.

We also agreed on preparation, such as how much players will be paid for the friendly matches, including how and when the monies would be paid,” Mr Dikko said.

We even delved into how the NFF would apply the funds due to it from FIFA after paying the players their share.

The agreement represents the full and final understanding between the NFF and the team for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia and not subject to review or negotiations, except there is a review by FIFA of what it has approved and published as prize money for the participating countries.

We have opted for this international best practice in order to fully motivate the team and ensure there are no distractions or discontent before and during the tournament.

Also, the NFF president, Amaju Pinnick said: “We communicated the honourable minister of sports on the negotiations and he endorsed the agreement on behalf of the government.

He also applauded the NFF for the bold step to sort out all issues that could militate against Nigeria having a great outing at the World Cup finals in Russia.

Reacting to the development, captain John Mikel Obi said, “This is the first time since I started playing for the senior team that I would see everything regarding preparation and bonuses and allowances put down in black and white and a binding agreement executed,” he said.

It is reassuring that we now have a federation leadership so committed to making everything work that they arranged this meeting and allowed the players to contribute and then set out to sign the agreement.

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