FIFA says earnings at the ongoing 2023 FIFA World Cup in Australia and New Zealand will be paid to players’ accounts directly instead of through individual federations over the fear of the money not getting to the players.
This latest development was made known by outgoing FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura while addressing the players of Nigeria’s Super Eagles after the goalless draw against the Republic of Ireland to reach the round of 16 of the Women’s World Cup for the third time in the country’s journey.
In a viral video clip, Ms Samoura said the payment issues involving the Falcons and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) are part of the reasons FIFA decided to pay the players directly.
“I know that things have been tough. We have to face the realities of Nigeria. It pains me a lot. It is because of you (the Super Falcons) that, for the first time, the prize money has been ring-fenced in the history of FIFA to ensure that it goes to you,” stated Ms Samoura.
Before the tournament, Super Falcons head coach Randy Waldrum, who the NFF owes many months’ salaries, had revealed that the players had not received match bonuses for two years.
Other teams in the national team setups are also facing the same dilemma.
Every player that participated in the group stage of the ongoing World Cup is guaranteed $30,000 by FIFA.
The prize money increases by the same figure as they progress to the various phases of the tournament to the final – the Falcons are now entitled to $60,000 each for reaching the round of 16.