Confederations Cup News: The Super Eagles Have Decided to Fly

The Nigerian players called up to represent their nation for their first time ever—since the International Champions Cup became the FIFA Confederations Cup—missed their flight on Thursday from Windhoek to Johannesburg where they would catch a connection to Brazil.

Players and technical staff started a strike due  to a reduction in their bonus payments over the recent victory against Kenya and Wednesday draw versus Nambia for the African qualifiers aiming the 2014 World Cup.

According to a major Brazilian magazine, Veja, the African Cup of Nations winner was going to receive half of the promised bonus from the Fédération Nigerienne de Football.

The Nigerian federation claims that in their current economic crisis, the $10.000 for a victory and $5.000 for a draw could not be met.

So the players protested by not leaving their hotel, which has delayed their arrival to Brazil.

“They are declining to leave,” said Namibia Football Association general secretary Barry Rukoro to Reuters. “They were supposed to go at 11 a.m. this morning but they say they are owed money by their association and want it sorted before they will leave the hotel.”

And Rukoro added: “Their officials all departed on an earlier flight this morning but the players and the technical staff are still here. So far there is no indication they are leaving.”

However, Veja announced later on Thursday that FIFA had confirmed Nigeria’s participation in the tournament.

No official word has come from the Fédération Nigerienne de Football on whether the players have been paid or will eventually receive the full prize that they were promised.

If the Nigerian players change their minds and are a no show to Monday’s match in Belo Horizonte against Tahiti for the first round in the group stage, the national team could be banned from future FIFA tournaments.

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