The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) says Fifa’s decision to advance US$2 million in prize money will help the country’s players ‘focus solely on football on the pitch’ in Russia. The Confederation of African Football (Caf) said the cash will help all five of Africa’s representatives – Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia – prepare for the tournament.
The Super Eagles were involved in a protracted dispute ahead of the 2013 Confederations Cup in Brazil and a bonus row also disrupted their World Cup campaign in 2014.
But NFF spokesman Ademola Olajire believes the availability of this money will help in their quest to avert a bonus row in Russia.
“We’ve had problems in the past and the NFF has already worked out a payment mode for the team, but this money will help put everything into shape,” he told BBC Sport. “It will definitely help our players to focus solely on football on the pitch in Russia and not deal with the distraction of when the bonus will arrive.”
Last year, the Nigeria Football Federation signed an agreement with its players pledging to avoid the bonus and pay rows that have blighted past World Cup campaigns. Caf president Ahmad said in a statement that the money would be used “to settle beforehand the question of bonuses due the players.”
Disputes over payments at previous tournaments “had led to situations that affected badly the image of African football, with a considerable impact on team performances,” he added.
In 2014 the Ghana government had to step in and send cash to Brazil in order to pay players and, who had threatened to go on strike while in 2006 there was a similar threat by Togo in Germany.
The 32 teams taking part in the June-July tournament receive $1.5 million each from Fifa in the form of a preparation fee and are guaranteed a minimum of $8 million more in prize money after the tournament ends.
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