The US$3.3 million budget of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) for this year's Nations Cup is being stretched to its limits as the Presidential Task Force (PTF) for the 2010 World Cup are yet to pay their own share of the team's bonuses.
Each player on the 23-man squad for Angola 2010 received $30,000 for qualifying from the group stage of the tournament and was paid an additional $12,500 after the Eagles defeated Zambia 5-4 on penalties Monday night in Lubango to reach the last four of the bi-ennial competition.
The team officials got almost double what the players were paid. However, officials told MTNFootball.com that the NFF have had to cough out all these monies as the PTF are yet to come up with the 50% that was agreed to be their own contribution to these payments.
The accountant of the NFF only returned to the Eagles new base of Lubango Monday after he was forced back to Nigeria to shop for more funds for the players to be paid their full bonuses."We're yet to receive the 50% of what we have so far paid as bonus to the team because the PTF are yet to give us the cash and there has been no contact to that effect," a top NFF official, who preferred not to be named, told MTNFootball.com
"We did not want any row over cash with the players and that was why we went ahead and paid them their bonuses in full while waiting on the PTF to come up with their own half of the payment as we had all agreed on."
The official continued: "This enhanced bonus scheme was in the first place the idea of the PTF and they now have to come up immediately with the cash. If not, we will have serious problems to pay the players by the time we reach the final on Thursday."
PTF officials, who followed the team for their first two matches in Angola, were not at the Zambia match and this may well not be unconnected with local media reports that the Eagles warned them to stay clear of the team as they are a distraction.
This followed a presidential order conveyed by the country's sports minister, Sani Ndanusa, that coach Shuaibu Amodu be fired after the team's lacklustre showings in their first two matches of Angola 2010.
The PTF, headed by Rivers Stare Governor Rotimi Amaechi, were set up by the country's presidency to compliment the efforts of the NFF to qualify the team to the 2010 World Cup, but both orgnisations have often worked in cross purposes.
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