August, 15 2023.
_Vow To Settle Bonuses Owed Players_
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has assured football loving Nigerians that the country men and women senior national teams, will both have substantive Head Coaches between now and the first week in September.
President of the Federation, Alhaji Ibrahim Gusau stated this while speaking with veteran sportscaster, Michelle Obi on a Kennis 104.1 FM, on Tuesday.
Gusau while conceding that the contract of Randy Waldrum expired with his last match at the FIFA Women's World Cup, that of José Peseiro ends on July 31, contrary to reports that it expired on June 30, 2023.
The NFF Boss added that there's however a twist in the contract of the Super Eagles force majeure moved, in the sense that it was tied to qualifying the team for the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) and winning the finals, scheduled for Côte d'Ivoire in July 2023.
According to him, force majeure compelled CAF to move the tournament to January 2024 and that's why the NFF has been talking with the Portuguese who is on a monthly pay of $70,000 and his representatives, but has not reached a conclusion.
He then assured that the Super Eagles who had already qualified for the nation's top finals, will have a substantive Head Coach announced before their last group game against Sao Tome and Principe, in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State on September 10.
Gusau also rubbish out insinuations that a Caretaker coach maybe hired as Peseiro and his team are poles apart from the NFF, who are asking him to take a substantial pay cut to remain in the saddle.
Gusau also said Nigerians can be expectant that a new Head Coach would soon be announced for the Super Falcons, whose handler, Randy Waldrum is back in the United States after guiding the team to the Round of 16, where they pushed the Lionesses of England all the way, before crashing out 2-4 in a penalty shootout.
Waldrum told the media in Australia that he would like to continue working with the Falcons, but it was left to the NFF to decide.
The African qualifiers for the women's football event of the 2024 Paris Olympics are billed to continue shortly, and the NFF President expressed optimism that the nine-time African Champions will also have a Head Coach in place soon.
"Our policy is that for Coaches whose contracts have ended, the Technical Committee will tinker with that and make their recommendation. once contracts are expired, due process must be followed to get the coaches reappointed, or appointed in the first instance", he said.
Gusau, who was Chairman of Chairmen in the last NFF Board headed by Amaju Pinnick said, most of the outstanding monies owed players of the Super Falcons and other age-group teams happened two years ago and above.
"...but why was the protests not done all this while, until they converge on Australia. This is all the work of some people, trying to stoke trouble when there should be none. In the first place, is it not diversionary"? he queried.
He then assured that all monies due the players of Super Falcons and other national teams would be paid to them by his board soon, just like it was done for the France 2019 team.
"In France there was no such noise because the federation and players had an agreement that 30% of the FIFA money to the NFF will go to them. That was done and there was no squabbles. For the 2023 World Cup, FIFA has earmarked what the players will get and the NFF is committed to ensuring that each of the players get exactly what has been appropriated for them by FIFA", Gusau assured.
Turning his attention to the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL), Gusau said he and the entire board are impressed with the progress, so far made in repositioning the NPFL. He was full of praise for the anchor man of the Interim Management Committee (IMC), Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye, saying his committee justified the confidence reposed on them.
"GTI has been very helpful, and we are also talking with communication giants MTN, with the hope that a few more partners coming on board soon, would help in improving the funding of the league and the glory days of the domestic game, would have been revived.
Finally, he said he is hopeful that the NPFL board as presently constituted, would surpass the impressive standards set last season, when circumstances forced an abridged league, but they still managed to deliver a lot of positives.