An ad hoc committee of the House of Representatives has condemned the non-appearance of the President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Ibrahim Gusau, at the ongoing investigation into the non-payment of allowances to the members of the Super Falcon.
Mr Gusau and other officials were scheduled to appear before the Committee on Wednesday; however, NFF Secretary General Mohammed Sanusi, informed the committee that Mr Gusau was ill and unable to attend.
The Chairman of the Committee, Blessing Onuh (APC, Benue), rejected the explanation by the NFF representative, noting that Mr Gusau was taking the committee for granted.
“We gave an opportunity for the president of NFF to appear before this ad-hoc committee, he came up with an excuse.
“It simply means he is taking us for granted, he is taking us for a ride, and we will not tolerate it,” Ms Onuh said.
The football federation and the national team have been having disputes over funding of the team. In the buildup to the just concluded World Cup, Randy Waldrum, the Super Falcon coach, made some grievous allegations against the NFF, including a backlog of unpaid salaries.
In an interview conducted early in July, the American said the NFF owed him 14 months’ salary, but the federation later paid seven months.
Mr Waldrum also claimed that FIFA had disbursed $960,000 to all the teams that qualified for the 2023 Women’s World Cup to prepare for the tournament.
The issue of funding also surfaced at the World Cup. PREMIUM TIMES had reported that the Super Falcons considered the option of boycotting their opening game at the World Cup against Canada over the non-payment of allowances. But the team continued to play until they were eliminated in the round of 16.
The House had in July resolved to intervene following the adoption of a motion moved by Olumide Osoba (APC, Ogun).
We must pay our girls— Onuh
Ms Onuh said the Super Falcon deserve to be paid their allowances after making the country proud at the World Cup.
“Nigerians are interested, Nigerians are watching. The girls did extremely well, and they made Nigerians proud, so we shouldn’t take this investigative hearing lightly,” she said.
“The allowances and the dues that were supposed to be paid to the female footballers, the Super Falcons and he (Mr Gusau) turned it down.
Ms Onuh insisted that the NFF must appear before the committee and refused to allow the NFF Secretary-General to speak before the Committee.
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