In the wake of their remarkable display at the 2023 Women’s World Cup, a triumvirate of Nigerian football icons – Odion Ighalo, Victor Anichebe, and Victor Osimhen – have raised their voices in unity, urging the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to promptly settle the long-standing issue of unpaid salaries and bonuses owed to the Super Falcons.
This collective appeal comes hot on the heels of a notable statement issued by the FIFPRO (International Federation of Professional Footballers) assuring its unwavering support in assisting the players to reclaim their rightful earnings from the NFF.
The specter of the pending bonus dispute loomed ominously over Nigeria’s pre-World Cup preparations, yet the dedicated players chose to defer their concerns until the culmination of their journey at the Women’s World Cup.
This decision was rooted in a collective commitment to focusing on their on-field performance.
The frustration over the delay in the payment of dues resonated through the social media platforms of the trio. Victor Osimhen, the Super Eagles and Napoli forward, vented his dissatisfaction by imploring the NFF on Twitter: “Pay them @nffofficial,” accompanied by a disappointment emoji.
Meanwhile, former Manchester United striker Odion Ighalo succinctly encapsulated his sentiments with a tweet that read, “NFF never stop all these things.”
Victor Anichebe, a former Everton striker, underscored the sense of justice by urging the NFF to fulfill their obligations: “NFF pay them! They did us all proud! And even if they didn’t. Pay them what they are owed!!!”
The Super Falcons, despite their valiant efforts, saw their World Cup journey come to a close in Australia and New Zealand after a heart-wrenching penalty shootout defeat to England. However, their spirited performance resonated with the Nigerian football community and beyond, highlighting the importance of recognizing and remunerating their dedication.
The unresolved wage dispute casts a shadow on Nigeria’s football governance, compelling stakeholders to address the issue with urgency and uphold the principles of fair compensation for athletes who have displayed unwavering commitment and pride on the international stage.