The Secretary-General of the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), Ms Fatma Samoura has told Super Falcons of Nigeria that it is because of players like them that FIFA decided to pay prize money directly to players.
The FIFA secretary general who addressed the Super Falcons after their 0-0 draw with the Republic of Ireland in their dressing room, noted that she knows “it has been tough” and that they had to “face the reality of Nigeria.”
She, however, added that for the first time, the prize money would be paid to them – players – because of such realities.
“It is because of you that for the first time in the history of FIFA, the FIFA women world cup prize money will be paid directly to you, the players,” Samoura said, amid cheers from the nine-time African champions.
A former Arsenal player and football pundit Ian Wright also sent a message to the Nigeria Football Federation after the Super Falcons earned a historic win over the co-hosts of the tournament, Australia on Thursday.
The Super Falcons will not be paid their tournament match bonuses, following an announcement from FIFA that all players would receive around £15,760 (AUS$30,000) for participation in the group stages of the tournament.
There were set to be separate payments following each of Nigeria’s group games – against Canada, Australia and Ireland – in addition to this.
The team had even threatened to go on strike for the first match of the competition against Canada who are also in the middle of a pay dispute with their own FA seeking equal pay and support with the men’s team.
After a stunning win against hosts Australia, Wright took to social media to send out his message of support for the Nigerians.