By Ben Efe
Flying Eagles’ players have refused to back down on their threat to boycott Saturday’s Under-20 African Cup of Nations qualifier against Sudan in Lagos.
The players who have shunned training for three days running, are demanding that their outstanding allowances stretching back to their Golden Eaglets days be paid.
Otherwise, they will not step out to defend the 2-1 advantage they posted over Sudan in the first leg in Khartoum. Nigeria Football Federation president, Amaju Pinnick spoke to the players yesterday urging them to be patient with the cash-strapped federation.
But according to one the players who spoke on the issue yesterday, things are becoming unbearable to them in the camp.
“They are treating us as if we are slaves. Imagine that when we came back from South Korea where we won the FIFA Under-17 World Cup, they only gave us N20,000 as transport to go home. Since then nothing has been paid to us.
“Even our coaches have not been paid for eight months. They have families at home. Are they spending all their days with the team for nothing?”
Amaju attributed the financial squeeze to the non release of government subvention to the NFF for two months running.
“We will try to do something for the boys. Things are really difficult, but we will see what we can do.
“The Flying Eagles are not the only team that have not been paid. The Super Falcons, the Super Eagles are all affected.”