The House of Representatives on Thursday (yesterday) moved a motion that the Nigeria Football Federation should be investigated over what led to the treatment being meted out at the Super Falcons that won the Africa Women Nations Cup on December 3. It also mandated the committee on sports to submit the report of its findings back to the House within four weeks for further legislative action.
The lawmakers condemned the non-payment of the allowances and bonuses of the players and officials of the Falcons. The legislators urged the Nigerian Football Federation to pay, without further delay, the backlog of allowances.
This followed the adoption of the motion brought by Hon. Ayo Omidiran (APC, Oyo) on the unsavoury treatment of the Falcons after winning the AWCON title for the eighth time. In adopting the motion, the House commended Omidiran and gave a standing ovation to the Super Falcons for their superlative performance at the just concluded tournament.
Leading debate on the motion, Omidiran said she was “aware that the players and officials are being owed backlog of allowances by the NFF.
“We are also aware of the reported disclosure by the minister of youths and sports, Mr. Solomon Dalung that the victory of the Super Falcons was unexpected, a mindset that may have led to the failure to make proper arrangements for the payment of the allowances of the players and the officials.”
She noted that the players had refused to vacate their hotel rooms until they were paid all their due entitlements, despite appeals by the NFF and officials of the sports ministry.
According to her, the refusal of the team to hearken to the pleas of the football officials must have been informed by past actions, inactions, failures and inability of the NFF and the Sports Ministry to keep to their promises and assurances in similar situations in the past.
Supporting the motion, Hon. Onyema Chukwuka (PDP, Anambra), lamented that Nigeria was not doing well in sports because of the insensitivity and inaction of sports administrators.
He said it was embarrassing that the Super Falcons who won the trophy were protesting for their allowances to be paid, whereas teams from other countries that won nothing were being honoured by their leaders.
Also contributing, Hon. Mohammed Nur Sheriff (APC, Borno) said it was unfortunate that in this era of high unemployment, the nation was not encouraging sports.
He said unless government pays adequate attention to sports development, Nigeria will continue to lag behind and lose her potentials to other countries that are supportive of sports. The motion received unanimous endorsement when Speaker Yakubu Dogara, who presided over the session put it to vote. – New Telegraph.