Nigeria U20 Finally Agree to Leave Poland after Pay Dispute

Nigeria U20 team, the Flying Eagles, will fly out of Poland on Wednesday after a dispute about bonus payments at the Fifa Under-20 World Cup was verbally settled.

The Flying Eagles were due to leave on Tuesday after a 2-1 loss to Senegal in the round of 16, but the squad refused to leave their hotel in Lodz after the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) failed to pay about US$5,000 per player bonus.

This led to players and officials missing their scheduled flights to Abuja and are now planning to leave on Wednesday.

The NFF has promised they will be paid on their return to Nigeria but despite the assurances the players remained wary.

“It’s been verbally resolved now and we have arrived in the city of Warsaw,” one of the players told BBC Sport.

“We were promised $2,000 in bonuses and our camp allowance of $100 per day, sadly we never got anything and to think our coaches are being owed wages too.

“After what happened here it’s difficult to trust anyone when we return home, but we have decided to leave on Wednesday after reassuring words from the NFF general secretary Mr Sanusi [Mohammed].”

The cash-strapped NFF, which receives direct funding from government, has been forced to seek financial help from sponsors to cater for the various national teams on international assignments.

“There was a minor delay but we are expecting the team to leave for Nigeria on Wednesday,” NFF’s director of communications Ademola Olajire said.

Pay rows have often surrounded Nigerian teams, with coaches not paid regularly, while players have previously boycotted training during important qualifiers or at major tournaments over unpaid bonus.

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