Super Falcons coach Randy Waldrum, has raised concerns with the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) regarding a grant from FIFA.
The American is indirectly accusing the federation of misappropriating a significant amount of $960,000 (N744m), which was a FIFA grant intended for the Super Falcons’ World Cup preparation.
While nailing his claims, the American coach has engaged NFF in a word battle given the team’s inadequate preparations for the World Cup.
Just days away from the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Super Falcons coach Randy Waldrum has criticized the NFF for their alleged lack of funds to carry out the necessary plans.
During the ‘On the Whistle’ podcast, Waldrum discussed several challenges that have affected the team’s preparations for the World Cup.
Randy Waldrum raised issues over poor camping arrangement
One of these challenges is the insufficient camping arrangements, which he attributed to a decision made by the NFF.
The manager of the Houston Dash, however, raised concerns about the NFF’s frugal approach, considering that FIFA provides funds to all federations to ensure smooth preparations for the World Cup.
He mentioned that they were supposed to have a camp before the World Cup in Nigeria but it turned out in a disappointment.
He said: “I was promised a three-week camp. The initial week and a half would consist solely of local players.”
“Afterwards, we had an additional 10 days scheduled for bringing in all the Super Falcons and any players I selected from the local camp.”
“During this period, I had the opportunity to observe them collectively and ultimately decide on the 23 players who would be chosen to represent us in Australia.”
“Just as we were preparing to come to camp, they (NFF) unexpectedly canceled it.”According to their statement, they mentioned that there was a lack of funds.”
“They specifically mentioned that they did not possess the necessary finances to carry out the task. They explained that FIFA required them to book business class airline tickets for each player traveling to Australia, which proved to be costly.”
“Due to the financial constraints, they ultimately decided to cancel the camp.
However, Waldrum alleged that in cases where countries are unable to afford business-class tickets for all participants, FIFA would cover the cost upfront and later deduct the amount from the funds allocated to the country after the World Cup.
In that case, he said there is no excuse for NFF to say they didn’t have money to buy tickets and consequently prevent the team from camping, especially after receiving funds FIFA allocated to them.
He said: “I refuse to remain silent any longer. In October, FIFA allocated $960,000 to each country to assist with their preparations for the World Cup. “Where is that money?”
Waldrum added: “These are the kinds of things that people in Nigeria do not question. Where is the $960,000 allocated? Why haven’t we been adequately prepared?”
He further revealed that he was owed 14 months’ salary, but he recently received payment for 7 months. Additionally, there are still some players who are owed allowances for two years.
The American said: “until about three weeks ago, I had been owed 14 months’ salary, and then they paid seven months’ salary.”
“Before that, a year and a half to two years, I had been owed for months before I was paid a little bit of it. Starting July, I’ll be eight months behind in salary.
“We still have players that haven’t been paid since two years ago when we played the summer series in the USA. It’s a travesty.”
NFF hit back at Randy Waldrum
The NFF promptly responded to the matter through its media director, Ademola Olajire, stating that the funds were effectively utilized in preparing the team for the tournament.
The NFF statement read: “It is widely known that FIFA provides preparation funds for every team participating in the World Cup.”
“The team embarked on a series of trips to compete in matches, starting with Japan, followed by a tournament in Mexico, and concluding with matches in Turkey.”
“The team is currently undergoing a 15-day training camp in Gold Coast. Has Mr. Blabbermouth Waldrum been the one making the payments?”
Super Falcons’ world cup fixtures, time and venue.
The 2023 Women’s World Cup tournament will commence on Thursday, July 20 but The Super Falcons of Nigeria will first lock horns with Canada on Friday, July 21.
The venue for the match is Melbourne Rectangular Stadium with kick-off scheduled for 3:30 pm.
Thereafter, Randy Waldrum’s team will take on another Group B rival Australia on Thursday, July 27 at Suncorp Stadium, with kick-off scheduled for 11 am.
Waldrum’s last Group B encounter will be with the Republic of Ireland. The Super Falcons’ match with the Emerald Isle is scheduled to hold on Monday, July 31, at Suncorp Stadium with kickoff scheduled for 11 am.
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