Dijon FCO and Nigeria forward, Desire Oparanozie, says the Amaju Pinnick led NFF board held onto to bonuses meant for the female national team players for three years.
Desire revealed that her challenging the authorities for the players’ rights was the sole reason for her removal as the captain of the team.
The 27 year-old reiterated that she did no wrong in ensuring that the $4,500 the NFF owed the Falcons was paid.
The PUNCH (a Nigerian News Outlet) reported that players and officials of the Nigeria Senior women’s team held a peaceful protest in Grenoble, France during the FIFA World Cup in June 2019 over a backlog of unpaid bonuses for World Cup appearance fees.
The protest in France after their Women’s World Cup exit wasn’t the first time the Super Falcons would be voicing against the NFF due to unpaid allowances. There have been protests over bonuses in 2004 in South Africa and 2016 in Abuja.
During the 2016 protest, members of the female team stormed the National Assembly after winning the 10th edition of the African Women championship held in Cameroon.
The former Guingamp striker said that after many years of complains, the Nigerian Football Federation was not willing to pay all the players entitled to the bonus.
She said, “Before the 2019 World Cup, we were being owed since 2016 – two match bonuses –
1,500 dollars for an away draw, and $3,000 for a home victory.
“Later, they (NFF) said they no longer pay in foreign currency, that we would be paid N500,000 instead. But I argued that the new law wasn’t in effect in 2016 and the officials agreed.
“They promised to pay us for three years but they didn’t pay us. Later, they agreed to clear the bonuses owed since 2016. So, what they did was to pay only players in the 2016 camp that are still playing in 2019. They left out others that didn’t make the 2019 team.
“I told them to pay those that didn’t make the team for 2019 while those of us still playing should be owed. We went back and forth on that for a couple of days; and in the end, they were able to pay the players that were not in the 2019 team.”
In conclusion the Owerri born clamoured for equal pay between the men and women footballers.
“This is doable but for some reasons, some individuals won’t want it to happen. It doesn’t have to be equal. What women earn is next to nothing compared to men. Even if it won’t be up to 100 per cent, let us close the huge gap. Being in sport as a female is not easy.”