Nigeria’s women’s soccer team staged a protest to get the money they were owed from the Nigeria Football Federation.
The Super Falcons staged a sit-in in their French hotel rooms and refused to leave until the NFF paid them fees, some of which dated back to 2016, according to ESPN. The players claimed they were not paid for two games against Senegal and Gambia. They were supposed to receive 2 million Nigerian naira (about $5,600 U.S. dollars), but only received half of their pay. Additionally, the players were reportedly cheated out of five days of daily allowance for their time in the World Cup.
"They paid us 1 million [naira] and said that is all. We want them to pay the balance," an anonymous player told ESPN. "Part of that money is from two years ago, the other is from three years ago. And they are also owing us five days' daily allowance here in France.”
The team was eliminated from the tournament after losing to Germany on Saturday. The player said the team tried to settle the matter before the competition but their efforts were ignored.
— Bolarinwa Olajide (@iambolar) June 23, 2019
"Before the World Cup, we asked them for a meeting so that we could discuss our World Cup bonuses, like they did with the men's team last year,” she added. “They ignored the letter and nobody said anything about it until now."
The team also demanded their share of the World Cup participation fee. The players met with NFF officials before agreeing to leave their rooms, according to the BBC.
The NFF agreed to most of their terms except the participation fee since those funds will not be available until the World Cup is over.
"We have paid them everything they are being owed," said NFF president Amaju Pinnick. "The only thing outstanding is the participation fee from FIFA, which is not expected to come until after the tournament. But they insist that they want to get paid, as they have spoken to players from Cameroon and France, who told them they have already been paid."
The NFF has a history of shady financial practices. The Super Falcons had to stage protests in 2004 and 2016 to get their money.
The players landed in Nigeria on Monday.