As the Super Eagles step out on Monday for their first World Cup match against Iran, there are fears that the deficit in agreement for the appearance fee of the players may dash whatever hope Nigerians have for the national team to do well in Brazil 2014.
The Super Eagles tabled their grievances to the Senate President, David Mark when he came visiting them on Friday. The players said that they will not accept anything less than the $75,000 about N12.2m appearance fee paid to each of their Ghanaian counterparts by the Ghana Football Association.
Also, the Eagles requested that the NFF relocate them from their Victoria Concept hotel in Campinas, which they described as isolated and it makes them look like prisoners unlike other World Cup teams whose Federations lodged them in better and more ideal places.
Sports Vanguard gathered that Senate President David Mark who listened with rapt attention as the players reeled out their grievances thereafter berated the NFF for not promptly settling the issue of appearance fees as was the case with other Federations like the Ghana Football Association.
The Senate President thereafter appealed to the coaches and the players to put aside anything that would constitute a distraction to them in the World Cup and focused on winning the World Cup reassuring them of the determination of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to give them the necessary support in the tournament to make Nigeria proud.
NFF President Aminu Maigari we gathered had to sign an agreement with the team promising that they will not get anything less than the Black Stars of Ghana.
Sports Minister, Dr Tammy Danagogo who was in attendance at the no-holds-barred meeting urged the team to do everything possible to make an impressive outing in the tournament.
Present at the meeting were Governor Liyel Imoke of Cross River State; Dr. Danagogo; Senator Bala Mohammed, minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT); Chief Edem Duke, minister of culture and tourism; Mr. Boni Haruna, minister of youths and social development; Senator Gumba, Chairman Senate Committee on Sports; Hon. Godfrey Gaiya, Chairman House Committee on Sports, Alhaji Maigari, and other executive members of the NFF.
Nigeria will earn over $9 million about (N1.4b) or qualification and participation in the first round of the Brazil World Cup. If the Eagles fly into the second round more money would also be paid.