The Minister of Youths and Sports, Mr. Solomon Dalung, said the Federal Government did not expect the Super Falcons to win the just-concluded CAF African Women Cup of Nations (AWCON) in Cameroon.
He said that was why the government was currently finding it difficult to paying the players’ entitlements.
Dalung made this statement today, December 8 while speaking with State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja amidst continued protests by members of the victorious Falcons over their allowances still yet to be paid.
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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.
The enraged players have threatened to embark on protest on the streets of Abuja if President Muhammadu Buhari refused to address their grievances.
The minister said the circumstances could have been averted if the Nigerian Football Federation had envisaged that the team would win and put in place the process of paying their entitlements.
“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 minister said his position had always remained that the process of request for funds for sporting projects must come earlier to meet the objectives.
He said if the federation had requested for funds on time, the process of settling the players would have been easier.
The minister admitted that the matter was not properly handled, regretting that there are also issues of outstanding payment of coaches.