RIO DE JANEIRO: FIFA will bring tighter controls to bear at future World Cups over African national associations which are consistently reluctant to pay their players on time writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Jerome Valcke, the world federation’s secretary-general, promised action as Nigeria became the latest CAF team caught up in a pay wrangle with its players who face France on Monday in Brasilia in the second round of the World Cup.
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has assured the country’s senior players that the squad will be paid their bonus money but only after the Super Eagles boycotted training on Thursday.
Earlier this week the Ghanaian government sent $3m in cash to Brazil to avert a strike by their own players.
Valcke said: “It is sad that we end with such a story of players talking about a strike. The fact that the [Ghana] money came in cash was also sad. We had a meeting and I was ready to sign a letter that the money would be transferred so that FIFA could make sure and deduct it from the amount of prize money.
“It happened in 2006 with Togo and we will make sure for future tournaments we will ask all the national associations who qualify to provide us with the agreement between players and national associations to make this doesn’t happen again.
“This money has to be paid. The players have the right to receive it but in terms of image it can be better to do it in a normal way.”
Nigeria’s players have been told they will receive $10,000 for their 1-0 win over Bosnia-Hercegovina and $5,000 for the 0-0 draw with Iran. However they believe they also due $30,000 each for qualifying from the group plus more if they go beyond the second round.
Last year they arrived late for the Confederations Cup in Brazil after the players refused to board the plane until the federation settled outside pay issues.