We might have a reason why the super eagles players looked very uninterested during their match against Iran. They could possibly have just been done with some in-house war of words with Senate President, David Mark over 25% of their match bonuses ($8m in total)
The Punch Reports:
Senate President, David Mark, got a taste of the national team camp when he held a meeting with the Super Eagles in Campinas just before their opening match against Iran in Group F of the 2014 World Cup on Monday.
Mark led the Federal Government delegation to the World Cup in Brazil.
Our correspondent learnt that Mark had demanded to hear the players’ grievances with the aim of settling the rift between them and the Nigeria Football Federation over their bonus. The players allegedly asked Mark to pay them $2m immediately from the $8m the NFF was expecting from FIFA for the first round matches since he was the third in authority in Nigeria and representing the President. The players maintained that they should get 25 per cent of the money.
The players insisted that they must receive their money before their match against Iran, which eventually ended 0-0 in Curitiba.
When it became obvious that the players were not moved by his presence, the Senate President allegedly became angry. It was learnt that after the players had spoken that their coach, Stephen Keshi, who apologized to the FG delegation and the NFF members at the meeting.
We don’t know if this dispute has been settled but we know that this is not the first time this has happened. The super eagles arrived at the Confederate cup last year late, after embarking on a strike over unpaid bonuses.
You would hope that the players would not have to do this, but with Nigerian officials and the NFF, you have to fight fire with fire sometimes.