Rangers defender Leon Balogun’s complaints about the Nigerian Football Federation [NFF] falling behind in payments of bonuses due to players for representing the Super Eagles have sparked action in the African country’s FA – with the NFF pledging to make up what it owes to players including Balogun and Rangers teammate Joe Aribo.
The Super Eagles players have been waiting for several months for their unpaid bonuses, with manager Gernot Rohr going unpaid for eight months and goalkeeper coach Alloy Agu demanding over 15 months of unpaid wages.
Balogun raised concerns in an interview last week and admits that he’s read people in charge at the NFF “contradict themselves” on whether the players have been paid or not – leading the Rangers man to speak out.
“Everybody is so concerned about the image of Nigeria – that we (players) can’t embarrass Nigeria but make sure you [the NFF] are not embarrassing Nigeria with your own actions,” Balogun told The Beautiful Game Podcast.
“About the bonuses, it’s not even a secret. I’ve read something recently where people in charge contradict themselves saying things have been paid then they admit they haven’t been paid.”
A statement from the NFF responded to the claims made by the Rangers defender and insisted they were working to fix things and pay what was over to players and staff, saying: “The same players and coaches have been well-taken-care-of and provided the necessary facilities when things were normal, and as we work assiduously towards conquering the present challenges and seeing sunlight again, we expect the players, coaches and administrative staff to show the same level of understanding that they have been showing over the past 18 months.
“Of course, we are pragmatists and we realise that these things can be frustrating and some people will boil over and talk about them. It is normal.
“Last month, during the friendlies in Austria, we were able to pay some of the outstanding bonuses and allowances.
“We are working at a pace presently to clear what is remaining. As I speak, we are owing the team bonuses and allowances from only the last two matches, and payments for these two games have been sent to the Central Bank some weeks ago.
“They will receive the monies shortly. We are equally working to pay the coaches what they are being owed as salaries.”