World Cup: Nigeria considers minutes-based bonus for Eagles

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) is proposing a new bonus sharing formula that will see the national team players benefit from the FIFA World Cup money only based on the number of matches and total minutes played by each member of the national team at Russia 2018 World Cup.

The Super Eagles, who have qualified for their sixth World Cup appearance with a game in hand and their managers are, hoping that money related disputes will not distract their participation. Serious dollars fight disrupted their camps particularly at the 1998 and 2014 World Cups.

THISDAY reported that NFF officials are keen to resolve the bonus arrangement with the players, including what they stand to reap from the FIFA money, by the end of the year.

It was learnt that as a departure from the traditional flat rates across board, NFF officials are considering paying the players only based on the number of matches and minutes played by each person. The implication of this according to an official privy to the negotiation is that not all the players will receive equal payment in Russia.

In line with the plan, players who make more contribution in terms of number of games will be paid more than those only going to sit out at the bench in Russia as squad members.

The FIFA windfall is aside the structured and approved match bonus which the NFF will offer the players for every match apart from the graduated bonuses for advancing to the knockout stages of the tournament. By the released FIFA documents, Nigeria is entitled to a $12.5 million cheque from the world body for qualifying for Russia 2018.

The three-time African champions stand to get more pay-out according to how successful they are in the latter stages of the World Cup.

But sharing the FIFA money has always generated fights and national embarrassment between players and officials. At the last World Cup in Brazil in 2014, the Eagles skipped a training session in Brasilia before their round of 16 game with France following row with NFF over money. They only agreed to play after government hurriedly sent $3.7 million cash by a private plane to Brazil.

By standard, the NFF will only share the net fee received from FIFA to the players as the football body will deduct some percentage as tax and sundry expenses on accommodation, security, transport and feeding which will be transferred to the federation.