The House of Representatives Ad hoc committee probing the non-payment of allowances of the female national soccer team, Super Falcons, says Ibrahim Gusau, president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), is taking the panel for granted by refusing to honour its invitation.
Blessing Onu, the chairperson of the committee who spoke on Wednesday, said Gusau has shown no regard for the lawmakers.
Information Nigeria reports that during the build-up to the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia, Randy Waldrum, Falcons head coach, revealed that some players were owed “per diem and bonuses” from two years ago.
The revelation caused an uproar and nearly affected the preparation of the team ahead of the tournament.
However, the team proceeded to the championship and qualified for the second round before being ousted by England.
Fédération Internationale des Associations de Footballeurs Profession Nels (FIFPro), the world players’ union, had knocked the NFF for failing to pay the players their outstanding allowances.
The union, nonetheless, promised to assist the Falcons in the pay dispute with NFF, maintaining that the players did not make a fuss about the unpaid allowances during the World Cup.
Speaking on Wednesday, Onu said the NFF president deliberately ignored the invitations sent to him by the committee.
“Nigerians are interested, Nigerians are watching.
“The girls did extremely well and they made Nigerians proud, so we shouldn’t take this investigative hearing lightly.
“We gave an opportunity for the president of NFF to appear before this ad hoc committee. I will say invariably he is the one summoning us — he came up with an excuse that is not as important as what we have.
“The allowances and the dues that were supposed to be paid to the female footballers — the Super Falcons and he turned it down.
“What is more important? Is it for him to attend the FIFA Women’s convention or to appear before this committee?
“It simply means he is taking us for granted, he is taking us for a ride and we will not tolerate it, we will not,” she stated.
Onu added that the committee will ensure that the players receive their allowances.