The Central Bank of Nigeria came to the aid of the senior Nigeria national team camp which was embroiled in a war of words over unpaid bonuses for their participation in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations. Nigeria left the tournament in the round of 16, losing 0-1 to Tunisia. A result that many regard as one of the upsets of the tournament due to Nigeria’s impressive group stage results. The Super Eagles have won all three of their group stage games, making them many favorites ahead of the eventual collapse against Tunisia. However, despite their impressive run, the players did not receive a penny as match allowance or victory bonus. We get it, it sparked a huge rift between the players with many unhappy that Ahmed Musa and William Troost Ekong, the captain and vice-captain respectively weren’t firm in their demands. Their decision to accept that they will only be paid per game after the group stage did not sit well with some players, who felt that with the NFF’s insincerity and the bulk of the money at stake, it was difficult for them to clear everything at once. Each player is due to receive $30,000 in addition to the camp allowance and some players have yet to receive the bonus for the World Cup qualifiers. In fact, during all this time, they did not receive any camp allowance. The case snowballed into a heated debate between players with Ekong pleading with players to show they understood why the NFF had yet to pay. He begged to speak to the general secretary who assured him that the payments would be made on a specific date, but that was not the case. He said he tried to contact President Amaju Pinnick but did not take or return his call, but they did talk about the bounty issue. He explained that he then had to text her to express his disappointment. Yesterday, the print version of Sportinglife reports that the apex bank in Nigeria, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) bailed out what would have likely led to players boycotting the World Cup qualifiers against Ghana by crediting their account. According to Sportinglife, each player was paid $30,000 while back office staff received their payments in Naira, but promises made to the team by wealthy Nigerians have yet to be honoured.

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