A total of N90Million has been designated to be shared among the Super Eagles B, (Players & Coaching Crew) for the just concluded Africa-Nations Championship (CHAN) hosted by Morocco.
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) coughed out the N90Million from the $750,000 prize money the Super Eagles B, earned after emerging the first runner of the just concluded 5th edition of the African Nations Championships (CHAN) in Morocco.
The $750,000 prize money is about N252, 000, 000; 00k were converted to Nigeria’s currency and the N90Million is about 30% of the staggering sum.
Meanwhile, Nigeria also got a participation fee of $100,000 from this year’s edition – which is about N36 Million when converted to the country’s currency – alongside all the 16 participating countries.
Morocco, which hosted and emerged the winner, pocketed a staggering US$2.5 million in prize money, which represents a 67% increase from $750,000 awarded to winners of the previous editions.
Nigeria, which emerged the first runners-up, walked away with $700,000, a 75 per cent increase from $400,000, while the semi-finalist took home $400,000, an increase of up to 60 per cent.
The increase in prize money came months after the Confederation of African Football (CAF) signed a sponsorship agreement with French oil giants, Total.
A Nigeria FA officials had confirmed the payment will be made as promised the team.
” This is besides the match bonuses they have received for going all the way to the championship game in Morocco.”
The Eagles are due to arrive Lagos early on Tuesday morning via a direct flight from Casablanca.
The Eagles will also be hosted by the Lagos State Government when they arrive the Country from Morocco.
Nigeria Coach, Salisu Yusuf has attributed his team’s capitulation in the final of the CHAN against Morocco to the injuries to key players.
Nigeria lost in the CHAN 2018 final to Morocco 4-0, but the team had impressed – progressing beyond the semi-final for the first time in three editions.
The Super Eagles B, managed only one shot on target in the game and played with 10-men for 42 minutes after defender Moses Eneji was sent off in the second-half with the scoreline at 1-0 at the time.
In his post-match presser, Yusuf credited Morocco as worthy winners and added that the red card to his team also didn’t help the side.
However, a cross-section of Nigerian football enthusiasts on Monday hailed the home-based Super Eagles for their performance at the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN), saying the players surpassed their expectations.
They said while the Eagles were defeated convincingly in the match, they deserved commendation for their overall performance.
Tunde Popoola, the Secretary-General of Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), said the Super Eagles surpassed his expectations and against all odds, adding that they were already “winners’’ even before Sunday’s match.
“These CHAN Eagles have truly exemplified the Nigerian spirit — never acknowledging defeat even in the face of it.
“The equaliser against Angola, which came in the second minute of added time in the quarter-finals, showed this. Their resilience with 10 men against Sudan in the semi-finals magnified this and it had to take something special to defeat the Sudanese.
“They had lost key players like their inspirational goalkeeper and captain Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Sunday Faleye, Ifeanyi Ifeanyi, among others, coming into the final and so it was always going to be a difficult game for the Eagles.
“To be honest, even though I would have been happier if they had won the tournament, I didn’t expect anything much from the team in the final because I was already satisfied with what they had achieved so far,” he said.
The Chairman, FCT Football Association, Musa Talle, said so many factors militated against the Super Eagles, but their courage and passion to succeed against all odds were highly commendable.
“Their preparation before the tournament was below par compared to their counterparts and so much was not expected of them.
“But they defied all odds to reach Nigeria’s first-ever final at the championship and this to me is highly commendable,” he said.
Talle, however, said the final match against the hosts was a “no-contest’’, noting that everything went in favour of the Atlas Lions.
He said the Moroccans were better prepared and more familiar with the pitch where they had played all their matches.
“Coming against the hosts was never going to be easy, especially with the 12th man (the crowd) who were raucous as the stadium was painted red. That is North African football passion for you.
“There were lasers being flashed from different corners into the eyes of the players, and the referee as well as our boys were under pressure.
“Even the weather didn’t help our cause as it was entirely different from what our boys were used to. The rain kept pouring down and made it difficult for the Eagles to play their game on a soaked and slippery pitch.
“It, however, fitted well with the Atlas Lions’ style of play who were more familiar with the terrain as they punished every defensive error made by the Eagles.
“Also, the loss of Peter Moses in the early part of the second half made the matter worse as the hosts made the most of their numerical advantage,” Talle said.
An ex-international, Emmanuel Babayaro, said the overall performance of the team was commendable, adding that some of the home-based players showed that they deserve a place in the World Cup squad.
“I celebrate the lads. I’m not happy with the final scoreline, but I understand misfortune played a part, and ineptitude too.
“But, then, there are a lot of positives to take out from the championship. It was our best ever CHAN outing and we can build on this achievement.’’
Babayaro, who was a former national goalkeeper, also noted that the two goalkeepers at the tournament performed relatively well.
Succinct to also note that as part of the increment deal, the CAF Champions League, which previously had $1.5 million prize money, now onwards will use $2.5 million through 2020, while CAF Confederation Cup will have an increase of almost 90% with the winners taking a total of US$1.25 million against $660,000 previously won.
The CHAN 2016 edition, hosted in Rwanda, saw Amavubi, who reached the quarter-finals, pocket $175,000, a position that now fetch $300,000.