Bonuses and allowances of players and officials representing Nigeria at the 2019 U-23 Africa Cup of Nation have not been paid.
This is as the tournament holding in Cairo began on Friday (today) with Egypt locking horns with Mali at the Cairo International Stadium in the Egyptian capital.
Nigeria’s players and officials arrived in Cairo for the event on Saturday, hoping that they would be paid before the commencement of the competition.
It was gathered that officials of the Nigeria Football Federation communicated the team’s grievances to the sports ministry.
It will be recalled that the Super Eagles also protested against non-payment of their allowances before their third game at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
When contacted, officials in the sports ministry blamed the Ministry of Finance for the delayed payment of the players and officials.
“The Ministry of Finance is yet to release the money to the NFF for payment to the U-23 Eagles,” a top official of the sports ministry said.
A statement by the media office of the sports minister, however, assured that the players and officials would be paid.
The statement obtained by our correspondent on Thursday read in part, “Following the demand of the U-23 team for their unpaid bonuses and allowances, the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development swung into action immediately to find out why the funds were being withheld.
“The sports ministry, through the minister, Sunday Dare, had before now approved the payment of all bonuses and allowances due to the U-23 team.”