The Super Falcons of Nigeria will get their prize money for participating in the 2023 Women’s World Cup directly from the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA).
FIFA Secretary-General, Fatma Samoura disclosed this to the Nigerian women’s team on Monday in their dressing room at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium following their 0-0 draw with the Republic of Ireland in their final group game of the World Cup.
“It is because of you (the Super Falcons) that for the first time in the history of FIFA the Women’s World Cup prize money will be paid directly to you, the players,” Samoura said in a video posted by UK-based Nigerian journalist, Osasu Obayiuwana.
Obayiuwana also said that he was told by FIFA’s director for Africa, Gelson Fernandes, that Samoura who will be leaving her position with football’s international governing body in a few months has given him the mandate to ensure that the money is received by the players.
Last month, the General Secretary of the Nigeria Football Federation Dr Mohammed Sanusi also them their match bonuses £15,760 (AUS$30,000) for participation in the group stages of the tournament had been cancelled by the federation.
During the lead-up to the World Cup, Falcons head coach Randy Waldrum also revealed that some players are owed “per diem and bonuses” from two years ago.
The claims almost affected the preparation of the Nigerian players for the tournament.
FIFA had previously confirmed that the 732 players participating in the World Cup will be paid at least $30,000 each. The paycheck rises if teams do well, with each player for the winning team earning $270,000.
The $30,000 payment is a significant payday for many players: The average annual salary worldwide for women who play professionally is $14,000.
So far, each Super Falcons player have earned $90,000 after qualifying for the round of 16 of the 2023 Women’s World Cup being played in Australia and New Zealand.
The Super Falcons who had already pocketed $30,000 each as an appearance fee from FIFA, now have $120,000 each – $30,000 earned in the Group Stage and $60,000 for knockout round.
The Super Falcons will face Three Lionesses of England in the Round of 16 next Monday.
Nigeria qualified for the round of 16 of the competition on Monday after playing out a goalless draw with the Republic of Ireland. With the result from their final Group B game, the Nigerian women’s team finished second behind co-hosts, Australia.