Players and officials discuss before the agreement was drawn up and signed

The leadership of the Nigeria
Football Federation have already sorted out camping sites for the
Super Eagles as they prepare for the World Cup in Russia next year.

2nd vice president
of the Federation, Shehu Dikko disclosed recently that two sites for
camping and training have been identified and communicated to FIFA.

According
to Dikko, “a final site would be selected out of the two
after inspection and approval by the technical crew led by Gernot
Rohr. This is in furtherance of our commitment to ensuring there are
no issues outstanding that could constitute distraction before the
World Cup.

All
plans for the World Cup are on course and a number of high profile
preparatory matches have also been agreed, subject to the Final Draw
on 1st December. The entire program would be unveiled after the
Draw,” Shehu Dikko said on Tuesday.

Meanwhile,
still in a bid to ensure a hitch free World Cup for Nigeria next
year, the NFF, just before the game against Argentina in Krasnodar
signed a financial agreement with the players and coaches.

This
agreement may just ensure
that the country will have a peaceful World Cup.

One issue that has
plagued African countries during World Cups has mostly been
allowances and how to pay them but after a fruitful meeting in
Krasnodar on Tuesday morning, it seems the team will stay focused on
the football at the mundial.

The
meeting, according to a statement issues by the Federation’s
Director of Communications, Ademola Olajire said though the agreement
was signed on Tuesday morning, the meeting to prepare the agreement
was held on Sunday night in the same city.

President
Amaju Pinnick, Vice Presidents Seyi Akinwunmi and Shehu Dikko,
General Secretary Mohammed Sanusi and Technical and Development
Committee chairman Yusuf Ahmed Fresh represented the NFF, while
Technical Adviser Gernot Rohr, Chief Coach Salisu Yusuf, Team
Administrator Enebi Achor and Captain Mikel John Obi, Ahmed Musa,
Kenneth Omeruo and William Ekong stood in for the team.

Before
the meeting, Pinnick, who made an impressive remark at the FIFA World
Cup Trophy Tour that made a stop in Krasnodar on Tuesday, told
thenff.com that the NFF was determined to, with the single agreement,
put behind it all the crises and confrontations that had bedeviled
African teams’ participation at the FIFA World Cup in the past.

At
the end, NFF 2nd Vice President/Chairman of Strategic Committee Shehu
Dikko confirmed to thenff.com: “We have done it; we have concluded
negotiations and come to agreement with the team as regards bonuses,
allowances and share of income from FIFA for the 2018 World Cup.
Every detail has been agreed on match bonus for each match and each
round up to the Final as well as share of income from FIFA money for
each round until the stage we are able to get to at the finals.

We
also agreed on preparation, such as how much players will be paid for
the friendly matches, including how and when the monies would be
paid. We even delved into how the NFF would apply the funds due to it
from FIFA after paying the players their share.”

Pinnick
and Sanusi signed for the NFF while Gernot Rohr and Salisu Yusuf
signed for the technical crew and Captain Mikel Obi and Ahmed Musa
signed for the players.

The
agreement represents the full and final understanding between the NFF
and the team for the 2018 FIFAWorld Cup Russia and not subject to
review or negotiations, except there is a review by FIFA of what it
has approved and published as prize money for the participating
countries.

We
have opted for this international best practice in order to fully
motivate the team and ensure there are no distractions or discontent
before and during the tournament,” Dikko added.

It
is the first time in the history of Nigeria’s participation in
international championships that a formal agreement between the
Federation and the team is documented, and the major actors see this
as a catalyst for the Super Eagles’ best performance ever at the
FIFA World Cup. It can also be recalled that the NFF ensured there
was no distraction over bonuses and allowances for the team during
the qualifying campaign, with the Super Eagles easily dominating a so
–called ‘Group of Death.’

We
are very happy and excited with this development. This is the first
time since I started playing for the senior team that I would see
everything regarding preparation and bonuses and allowances put down
in black and white and a binding agreement executed. It is reassuring
that we now have a Federation leadership so committed to making
everything work that they arranged this meeting and allowed the
players to contribute and then set out to sign the agreement,”
Captain Mikel Obi said.

At
the last FIFA World Cup finals in Brazil, the Super Eagles missed a
training session in protest over bonuses and allowances and share of
the income from FIFA, forcing the Federal Government to dispatch then
Sports Minister Tammy Danagogo to Brazil with cash.

A
similar situation played out in the camp of Ghana’s Black Stars,
and back in 2006, the camp of the Togolese National Team was torn by
disputes over bonuses and allowances.

Pinnick
later told thenff.com: “We communicated the Honourable Minister of
Sports on the negotiations and he endorsed the agreement on behalf of
the Government. He also applauded the NFF for the bold step to sort
out all issues that could militate against Nigeria having a great
outing at the World Cup finals in Russia next year.”

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