Nigeria’s former Super Eagles coach Adegboye Onigbinde and former Eagles midfielder Mutiu Adepoju have differed on the decision of the sports ministry to directly pay the senior national teams’ allowances rather than through the Nigeria Football Federation.
Sports minister Solomon Dalung in a recent interview with Channels Sports said the ministry would undertake the payment of the allowances of the Super Falcons and the Eagles at the 2019 Women’s World Cup and the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations rather than give the money to the NFF – as was previously done.
Dalung said the NFF had failed to follow the rules and accused the federation of not paying enough attention to the welfare of the national teams’ players.
Onigbinde said the minister was right to undertake the payment of the national teams but Adepoju told our correspondent that the minister’s decision was an aberration.
Onigbinde said, “Under the FIFA Statutes, a football body – from the local football associations, clubs to the national associations – should be independent and constituted through democratic means. However, Nigeria’s case is very different. The NFF has shown many times that they depend on the ministry – which should naturally just be a body discovering talents for the various sports federations –for funds.
If the minister believes that the best decision is to pay the national teams directly from the ministry’s purse, then it will be in contravention of the FIFA rules. But this is Nigeria where we get away with many things. But it can help to avoid the problems associated with bonus payment in the national teams – but it is not the right way to do things.”
But Adepoju said the decision was not in line with global best practices.
“There is no where it is done in the world – that the sports ministry will be paying the allowances of the national teams. This is because the national teams are the exclusive properties of the NFF and they are responsible for their welfare and payment,” he said.
“What the ministry can do is to assist the federation with funds and ensure that it is properly spent – not taking over the duty of the NFF.”