Nigeria players miss out on big bonuses
While money isn’t everything in the world of football, especially at the international level, it certainly helps ease the pain of last-minute defeats and gruelling nine-month seasons. When you’re competing at the World Cup, however, every little penny can feel like a goldmine as you attempt to mastermind your way through seven games in just over a month. Because of that, as you’d expect, the Nigerian national team were left quite upset by the fact that they failed to pick up more than $300,000 in bonuses courtesy of their loss to Croatia in their Group D opener at the weekend.
The loss itself wasn’t exactly humiliating with the scoreline being 2-0, but when it comes to the impact it had on the squad, we’ll have to wait and see how they look when they play against Iceland today. However, more importantly than that (for some people anyway), the Nigerian Football Federation revealed that every single player would receive $10,000 if they had come out on top against the European nation. As we mentioned at the start, money isn’t everything, but one way or another it didn’t really seem like the Super Eagles were playing with all too much motivation at various points throughout the game.
Some reports suggested that the fee would be increased by $5,000 to a total of $15,000 per person, dependant on whether or not they’re able to overcome the aforementioned Iceland in their second group stage encounter. Alas, it turns out that those reports were false, as the additional amount was only promised for the first game against Croatia. As confusing as this all sounds, all that you really need to know is this: the financial reward was there for the taking for the Nigeria squad, and unfortunately, they weren’t quite able to claim that incentive.
In addition to this, the team lost out on $50,000 which was promised to them by sponsor Aiteo with state president Bukola Saraki promising ANOTHER $50,000 for every single game that they win at the tournament. This comes after the reward that was given to the team prior to them even flying out to Russia. Bonus payments were always a controversial subject in football, with a series of Nigerian players striking during the 2013 Confederations Cup and 2014 World Cup because of it. With Nigeria’s World Cup fate potentially riding on their next game, it’ll be interesting to see how things develop.