Speaking on behalf of the federal government, the Minister of Youths and Sports, Mr. Solomon Dalung, stated that the Nigerian government did not expect the Super Falcons to win the just-concluded CAF African Women Cup of Nations in Cameroon.
Dalung, who spoke with State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa, said that was why the government was currently facing difficulties in paying the players’ entitlements.
The Nigerian women, who defeated hosts Cameroon on Sunday to win the tournament for a record eighth out of 10, are yet to receive their allowances.
Consequently, the players had seized the trophy they won at the competition and said they would hold on to the trophy until the authorities concerned offset the N238.05m accumulated bonuses which they are being owed.
However, speaking on the matter, Dalung said: “Don’t forget that nobody even knew the team will emerge victorious.
“If we were confident they will emerge victorious, all the federation would have done is to plan for process of participation and entitlement.
“It is already established in sports tradition, when you win this is what you are entitled to.
“The situation is highly unfortunate and I don’t like it. These girls have given confidence to women who want to embrace sports, so this will go a long way in killing this laudable achievement. It is unfortunate but we will make sure the right thing is done.”
The players also had threatened that if President Muhammadu Buhari refused to address their grievances at the Federal Executive Council’s meeting on Wednesday, they would embark on protest on the streets of Abuja.