Hon. Solomon Dalung, former Minister for Youth and Sports Development has revealed that the Nigeria’s U20 Women’s national team, Super Falconet are yet to receive their 2018 FIFA U20 World Cup money after the ladies cried out, OwoSports reports.
In a chat with Journalists on NSM Rebranded, a WhatsApp platform on Wednesday, the former minister revealed after meeting with the players in Austria he asked the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF to sort out the players but was told there was no money, that FIFA don’t take responsibility of Junior teams.
“In 2018 I visited the Falconets while they were in camp in Austria preparing for the World Cup in France I had one on one meeting with the team officials and players.
“In our discussion they opened up to me about their problems majorly robust around the non-payment of their camping allowances and bonuses, as at then they told me that since they were mobilised to come which was around May 2018 till when they went on an international camping in Austria, they have not been paid a dime narrating their predicament
“They went further to tell me that in fact sometime it get so bad that they will have to rely on the coaching officials for assistance to buy toiletries.
“It was at that point I became emotional imagining if my daughter was playing for the National team and find herself in a situation where she has to share certain information which should ordinary be private to her with an official so she can solve her problem, So that was when I now had to bring out the little I had on me and decided to donate it to them to solve their welfare.
“In Austria the NFF head of football units was there and I enquire if she was there with money she said yes, she was with some money but I think it was not going to be up to anything serious, so I decided to assure them that when I come back, I will make sure I get to the root of the problem
“When I got back to Nigeria I took up the issue with the NFF which they promised they were going to pay and they said that the team is a Junior team so it was out of the teams the international body takes responsibilities of.
“So that lingers on till they got to France and even in France the issue came up again I had to again direct the NFF to try to sort out the issue and they kept promising, they didn’t do anything about it, so when I got back to my office, the NFF came complaining of financial crisis having no money then i had to direct that the part of the FIFA World cup money that was kept by the ministry seven hundred million should be released to them so they can addressed the problem of the team and also the Super Falcons who were on their way to the World cup.
“But sadly as am talking to you the team have not been paid even when I left office I exchanged communications with the NFF President on WhatsApp, when the team captain kept mounting pressure on me that they have not been paid, I still communicated the NFF president and he said they have not paid, I still communicated with the captain last week they were still unpaid.