Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Melvin Amaju Pinnick has painted a rosy picture about peace in the Super Eagles’ camp at this year’s World Cup, as he says the soccer governing body has taken several measures to ensure the players do not squabble over money in Russia.
Pinnick recounted how money issues had caused disharmony, rancour and acrimony between Nigeria’s players and officials at previous edition s of the World Cup, but stressed that Russia 2018 will be different for the country.
Pinnick also lifted the lid on the details of the agreement signed between the players and officials of the NFF over sharing formula for the expected FIFA bonus for qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.
He said arrangements are already in place to pay the players early and stressed assured that the lads’ $2.8m (about N1.8bn) share of the money is ready for disbursement.
Pinnick, who is also a CAF executive committee member, also assured that the Nigerian football body has religiously kept faith with the agreement signed with the players.
The NFF boss said: “Before the game against Argentina in Krasnodar last November, we called the coach and some senior players like the captain Obi Mikel and Ahmed Musa into a room.
“We told them that the total money we’re expecting from FIFA for qualifying for the World Cup is $8 million and asked their opinion about how it should be shared.
“We gave them permission to go and consult with their colleagues and come back with their position if not that day then the following day.
“We did this because we didn’t want a situation where there’s rancour and acrimony over bonuses like we’d seen in the past. They left and came back later to demand for 30% of the money which translated to roughly $2.8m.
“We drafted an agreement, sent it to our lawyers to look at and each party signed. As I speak, we are at the point of raising the $2.8m which we’ll hand over to them as soon as they come to camp.”