Super Eagles receive World Cup bonuses
While many squads will go into the World Cup aiming to just have a successful showing at the tournament, others will be wanting to secure pre-designated bonuses which have been assigned based on how they perform in Russia. Of course, if you’re a member of The Super Eagles, you don’t need to worry about that – because the players have been paid well in advance of their opening game against Croatia. This piece of news was confirmed by NFF president Amaju Pinnick, with the players themselves also confirming the story. It stems from an agreement back in November regarding their pay structure, which meant that their share of the FIFA income, as well as their qualification bonuses, would be paid to them prior to the World Cup even getting underway. The agreement suggests that the team are due to be paid 30% of the NFF’s appearance fee from FIFA themselves, which is reported be in excess of $2.8 million – ironically around the same number of shirt sales from their phenomenal home kit.
Alas, this kind of thing may not necessarily be happening out of good will, with African nations having issues with bonuses in the past. Four years ago in Brazil, the Nigerian squad boycotted training prior to their game against France as they hadn’t been paid their allowances. The story made the headlines in a big way, and while they always seemed destined to lose that knockout game, it’s interesting to consider what would’ve happened if they hadn’t had to deal with that distraction. Beyond that, however, there’s also some cause for speculation regarding what this will mean for them heading into the WC this time around. It’s no secret that they haven’t fared particularly well in their warm-up games, and with these bonuses already being paid for, many fans will be questioning just how prepared this squad is to make a run deep into the tournament. This is by no means a poor squad and there are some exceptionally talented players who have a chance to really put themselves on the map in the next month or so, but now is the time to prove that passion for the game means more than financial reward. With Croatia, Iceland and Argentina all on the horizon now is the time to step things up a notch for The Super Eagles. It’s great to see that these payments have been made, but their focus now needs to switch back to what could prove to be the biggest few weeks of their lives.