Sports Minister, Abdullahi, Sets Up Panel to Look into Eagles’ Bonus Row.

Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi.
Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi.

Sports Minister, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, has set up a panel to probe Super Eagles’ match bonus row with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) in Namibia after last month’s World Cup qualifying match.

The panel has been given two weeks to submit its findings, chaired by Mr. Segun Adeniyi, a former Special Adviser to late President Umaru Yar’adua and Chairman of Thisday Newspaper.

Other members of the panel are Onochie Anibeze, Aisha Falode, Mallam Shehu Dikko and Ayo Oshuntokun.

Super Eagles players had rejected the match allowance approved for them by the NFF after their World Cup qualifying matches away to Kenya and Namibia.

NFF offered to pay a win bonus of $5,000 and a match bonus of $2,500 for a draw, but the players insisted on getting $10,000 and $5,000 for a win and draw respectively.

The panel is to determine the immediate and remote causes of the crisis over match bonus and develop a code of conduct for players on national duty.

The players willingly missed out of their scheduled flight to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil as a member of the team was quoted to have said: “We have told them (NFF) to go and play the Confederations Cup themselves.”

It took the intervention of the Honourable Minister, who immediately sourced for additional funds to make up for the shortfall proposed by the federation, to ease the tension at the time.