Nigeria: FIFA Women’s World Cup – Super Falcons’ Past Leads FIFA to Restrict Federation Powers

The mode adopted by FIFA bypasses the federations, who were formerly custodians of the funds meant for the players

Many pundits have commended the world football governing body, FIFA, for the approach adopted to pay players directly at the ongoing FIFA Women’s World Cup taking place in Australia and New Zealand.

The mode adopted by FIFA bypasses the federations, who were formerly custodians of the funds, and only carry out the transfers at their prerogative, a method that has often seen players shortchanged by their federations.

Each player at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup is guaranteed a base match bonus of $30,000, which increases as the team progresses through the rounds up to the final.

Interestingly, the past predicaments of the Nigerian team were a major reason FIFA chose this alternative path. Fatma Samoura, the outgoing scribe of FIFA, made this disclosure while speaking with the Super Falcons in Brisbane after their last group match against the Republic of Ireland.

Samoura told the Super Falcons that it was because of players like them that FIFA decided to pay prize money directly to players.

“It is because of you that for the first time in the history of FIFA, the FIFA Women’s World Cup prize money will be paid directly to you, the players,” Samoura said, amid cheers from the Nigerian players.

“I must say that personally, I am proud of you. As you know, I am the first woman to be Secretary General of FIFA since the organisation was founded in 1904, and I am also an African.

“So, I am easily excited by any accomplishment that glorifies women’s football and African football,” Samoura said as she addressed the nine-time African champions in the dressing room after the match at Lang Park.

The Super Falcons have often been at loggerheads with the NFF over unpaid wages and almost every other competition attended by the country’s national women’s team has had one episode of protest and unrest.

Coach Randy Waldrum had even openly chastised the NFF just before the tournament kicked off on the poor approach to the welfare of the Super Falcons, alleging the NFF owes some players two years’ arrears.

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