9 July 2013

Nigeria: Cash-Strapped NFF to Pay Keshi's N20 Million Wages

Cash-strapped Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has promised to offset the four months' salaries and allowances owed Super Eagles Head Coach Stephen Keshi before the end of the month.

The federation admitted Keshi's salaries have been outstanding since winning the 2013 AFCON trophy in South Africa last February.

Technical Committee Chairman of the NFF, Christopher Green, said Monday that the former Super Eagles captain would get all his entitlements before the end of the month.

"Yes, we (NFF) are owing Keshi about four months' salary. It is also true that we have not paid him since the AFCON feat in South Africa," Green said.

While further admitting that the debt was not deliberate as been speculated, the former Rivers State's sports commissioner said that the NFF had restructured in a manner to cut out waste.

"However, we have structured our national team in a manner in which coaches get daily allowance, match bonus, free feeding while they are in camp. But we are working round the clock to ensure that by the end of this month Keshi's outstanding are settled," Green told MTN Football.com Monday. Keshi is on N5million (about $31,000) a monthly salary with the NFF.

The Nigerian FA is battling hard times financially after government grant for the year was drastically reduced.

This has forced some cost-cutting measures including downward review of win bonus of the Super Eagles and the reduction of Keshi's backroom staff.

Assistant Director (Media) of the NFF, AdemolaOlajire, further confirmed the spirited efforts of the federation to pay Keshi.

Until recently, payments of salaries of NFF's expatriate coaches were contentious matters.

This situation was solved with the federation's sponsors offering to pick the bills. The last of such coaches to benefit from the magnanimity of the sponsors was Lars Lagerback.

The case of German Berti Vogt who spent most of his stint with the Eagles in Europe and only come to Nigeria during matches, caused Nigerian football fans and critics to rise up in arm against such wasteful spending.

Keshi's friend and former Super Eagles team mate, Samson Siasia became the first beneficiary of the new bumper salary for the indigenous coaches. But Siasia had to bow out of the coveted job when his wards failed to qualify Nigeria for the 2012 CAF Africa Cup of Nations jointly hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.

Keshi took over the Eagles' job in November, 2011 and in barely a year won Nigeria's third Nations Cup, the first ex international to do so in the continent since Egyptian Mohamed El Gohary did.

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