Mon. Dec 16th, 2019

Nigeria’s Africa Cup of Nations squad halt strike action

africa cup of nations 2019 nigeria latest news strikeNigeria’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations squad could go on strike ahead of their match against Guinea on Wednesday.

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It’s not really an Africa Cup of Nations until there’s been
a pay dispute. Zimbabwe and Cameroon have already played their part. Now it’s
over to Nigeria, according to the latest news from the continental showpiece.

According to reports, Nigeria’s players were locked in a dispute over pay ahead of their clash against Guinea. The Super Eagles players have reportedly not received their allowances or their promised bonuses.

Coach Gernot Rohr had to face the press after Ahmed Musa
failed to show up. The squad was also reportedly over an hour late for
training.

“My player [Ahmed Musa] couldn’t attend the press conference today because they have a very important meeting,” Rohr was quoted as saying by the BBC.

“I just hope the situation can be resolved so we can focus on what we have in front of us.”

The Nigerian Football Federation hopes to resolve the matter before their match kicks off on Wednesday.

NFF spokesman Ademola Olajire later told AFP “the matter has been resolved”, conceding that funds for the tournament had arrived late.

“The NFF received part of the money meant for the tournament today and is in the process of converting it to dollars to pay the players and officials”, he said.

“The only money they’re owed is the win-bonus for the Burundi match”, he added.

The bonuses were expected to be paid by the NFF after Saturday’s game ended.

Officials close to the team, who spoke under anonymity, told AFP that following reassurances from the NFF “the team captain spoke to the players, asking them to show some understanding after which the team agreed to train”.

This was after players boycotted a press conference.

These reports follow in the wake of similar claims involving the women’s team. The NFF issued a statement during the Women’s World Cup denying that they owed the Super Falcons pay. Reports claimed the women’s team was refusing to leave their hotel room in France.

While strike action has not been outrightly threatened by the men’s team, it’s not been ruled out either.

The Super Eagles’ coach, however, did confirm some team news.

Samuel Kalu, who collapsed during training last week due to severe dehydration, is fully fit to play according to Rohr.

“The very good news is that Kalu did again yesterday in Cairo an MRI and it is now 100% sure that he is fit and he will be available for the game,” he said.

“He already started training with the team so we are happy about that because everybody was a little bit scared when this happened.”

The Bordeaux player was rushed to hospital Friday suffering from severe dehydration due to severe heat. Temperatures expected to hover between 35 and 38 Celsius (95-100.4 Fahrenheit) over the next month in Egypt.

He missed Nigeria’s 1-0 win over Burundi on Saturday in the opening match in Group B in Alexandria.

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