Soccer News of Fri, 27 Jun 201433
Nigeria refuse to train over appearance fees dispute
Nigeria refused to train on Thursday following a disagreement over appearance fees for reaching the second round of the World Cup.
Goal learnt that the players asked for a meeting with the team's management where they requested that their part of the money expected from Fifa for progressing beyond the group stage be paid them by the Nigerian Football Federation.
Even though Fifa is yet to release bonus funds, the players said the their nation's federation should provide it before they play against France on Monday.
Their argument is that if they leave the tournament on Monday, it would be difficult for them to retrieve the money from the NFF to prevent a repeat of what happened following the conclusion of the 2010 World Cup when the federation delayed payment of their appearance fees.
The team had been scheduled to train at the Estadio Guarani at 18.00 and coach Stephen Keshi had already come down to the holding area while officials placed medical equipment and water inside the team bus.
Soldiers and police officers were on guard to accompany the team to the stadium as fans waited outside to catch a glimpse of the players. However, after an hour, media became worried as the team refused to come out.
The team's media officer, Ben Alaiya, came out to tell the press that the players were in a meeting and that training might still take place.
About 30 minutes later, the security details began to disperse and the team bus was offloaded and parked.
Goal understands the players were instead going to dinner, meaning there wasn't going to be training for the night.
Earlier in the day, NFF general secretary Musa Amadu left Sao Paulo to return to Abuja in order to facilitate the release of funds from government coffers.
But the players are afraid that they might not be paid in time before Monday's second round game against France.
The team is scheduled to depart for Brasilia on Friday afternoon. With their failure to train on Thursday, it is not yet known if they will board the flight.
In 2013, the Super Eagles threatened to boycott the Confederations Cup over the slash of their win bonus.