Nigeria’s female national team, the Super Falcons, don’t have it easy with the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF). In 2019, the players were owed allowances and bonuses until they threatened a protest. The same thing happened in July 2023, when the Falcons planned to boycott the first match at Australia and New Zealand’s 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Now, they’re back home since their exit from the competition, and their battle hasn’t ended.

Super Falcons (Twitter)

On August 7, 2023, the Super Falcons lost 4-2 to England after a penalty shoot-out during the “round of 16” stage. But one would expect the team to be warmly welcomed back home after their impressive performance, appreciated for their patriotism and encouraged to go harder next time. No. They were met with unfulfilled promises, unpaid salaries and general mistreatment.

Here’s exactly what we know about this disappointing situation.

Their World Cup 2023 exit 

The Nigerian-based players returned home on August 10. The diaspora players, and their foreign coach, Randy Waldrum, reportedly left the team a few hours after they were disqualified from the tournament on August 7.

Poor camp conditions

During an interview with The Guardian, the Super Falcons’ forward player, Ifeoma Onumonu, lamented about the lack of utilities in the Nigerian camp. Not only were their basic living conditions subpar, according to her, they even had to share beds. She added that their joy about the great resources of England is their sorrow at home.

No camp amenities

Back in Nigeria, the Super Falcons allegedly don’t have gyms or recovery facilities. According to Ifeoma’s statement, the training fields are ill-maintained, rocks and bumpy grass everywhere. If you kick the ball towards the goal post, don’t be surprised if it lands at the throw-in line.

They haven’t seen their 2023 World Cup prize money

A 2023 payment policy change stipulated that the World Cup prize money should be sent to the players without a third party. But the chair of the Nigerian Women’s Football League (NWFL), Aisha Folade, still paid the players through the NFF. The Falcons, who are entitled to $60,000 each after entering the round of 16, are yet to receive their money.

Old dues are unpaid too

On the Whistle podcast in July 2023, Coach Randy Waldrum revealed that the NFF still owes him his salary for seven months, after they made some outstanding payments that month. He also said that there are players who haven’t received a dime in two years.

FIFPro backs Super Falcons

On August 8, the global players’ union known as FIFPro promised to work with the players to make sure their rights are respected and outstanding payments for salary, bonuses, camp allowances and expenses are made.

Even the under-20s suffer

Ifeoma Onumonu opened up that the Super Falcons aren’t the only ones going through it. In August 2022, the Super Falconets slept at the Istanbul Airport for 24 hours after they were eliminated from the 2022 Under-20 Women’s World Cup. Meanwhile the men’s national team, Super Eagles, have less to complain about besides the exclusion of our local players.

NFF said it’ll pay the players “soon”

That FIFPro pressure must be bussing on the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF). On August 15, the Federation’s president, Ibrahim Gusau, said they will pay the Super Falcons soon. No date or how soon. But he remembered to gaslight the players for waiting two years to speak out. 


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