– Team, Coaches, Backroom staff pocket N125 million
FOR winning the 2013 Under-17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates, members of the victorious Golden Eaglets, coaches and backroom staff have been smiling home with cash rewards.
By Friday, November 15, 2013, one week after lifting the Cadet FIFA World Cup, a whooping sum of N125 million has been splashed on the team.
The rain of cash started when the team scaled through the group stage of the tournament, tagged, UAE 2013. Each member of the team got $500 for the three group games (they won their first match against Mexico 6-1, drew the second match against Sweden 3-3 and won their third group match against Iraq 5-0). For their second round match, which the team won against Iran 4-1, the boys got $1,000 each; for their victory against Uruguay (2-0) in the quarter final, their winning bonus was $2,000.
Each member of the team was paid $4,000 for defeating Sweden in the semi-final (3-0), while the bonus paid for their final match which they won against Mexico (3-0) was $7,000.
After lifting the trophy, former Super Eagles captain, Kanu Nwankwo doled out $50,000 as gift to the team. The contingent returned to Nigeria with the trophy on Saturday, November 9, 2013, and they were hosted by President Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday, November 10, 2013, in Abuja. Each player in the 21-man squad was rewarded with N2 million. The coach, Manu Garba pocketed N3 million, his assistants, Emmanuel Amuneke, Nduka Ugbade and Emeka Amadi got N2.5 million each. Other backroom staff were rewarded with N300,000 and N500,000. The team’s secretary, doctor and physiotherapist each got N500,000, while the media officer, chief technical officer and team coordinator were handsomely rewarded with N300,000 each.
The naira rain continued on Tuesday, November 12, 2013, when Niger State governor, Babangida Aliyu shelled out N20 million to the players and officials. The Golden Eaglets players will share N12 million out of Governor Aliyu’s largesse, the technical crew will share N5 million while the remaining N3 million will go to NFF’s board members who accompanied the team to UAE for the tournament. Apart from the monetary gift from the governor, each member of the team will get a plot of land in choice location in Minna, Niger State.
More cash rewards were expected in the days ahead as the team visits state governors, senators and other top government functionaries. The 2013 victorious Golden Eaglets rated as the best Nigeria has ever produced had a wonderful outing lifting the fourth Cadet FIFA World Cup for Nigeria in grand style. They scored a total of 26 goals and conceded only five goals all through the tournament. Two members of the team won individual laurels. Kelechi Iheanacho won the Best Player of the tournament trophy as well as the second highest goal scorer award. His team mate and goal keeper, Dele Alampasu went home with the Golden Gloves for being the Best Goal keeper of the UAE 2013.
WHAT N4 MILLION CAN DO FOR A 17 YEAR-OLD
FROM the cash gifts being splashed on the victorious Golden Eaglets of Nigeria, at least each player will go home with N4 million. And considering the background these boys came from, the money may not take them anywhere.
It’s assumed they are still under parental guidance. The N4 million will just end up as a money to give a little lift to the family with the parents and siblings benefitting from it. The money will no doubt go into accommodation and a befitting one now (three bedroom flat) will cost nothing less than N900,000.
The owner of the money may decide to get a new car for like N1 million, spend some on new clothes, buy food to feed the family and spend part on education pursuit (if such person is still interested in furthering his education). For a generation obsessed with gadgets, the latest phone in town will be good enough for the player who toiled and sweated for the money. At the end of it all, the N4 million may just not be enough to get him where he wants. This is because his parents, siblings and new friends are waiting to share in the largesse. That is why in the past most players who came through these age grade competition are nowhere to be found. After helping the team lift the trophy and get cash reward, the money fizzles out as it came. Those who made it at all are those who get to play in foreign leagues where they get fat salaries and allowances.
DETAILED ANALYSIS OF THEIR LARGESSE
PRESIDENT KANU GOV.
Players (21) N2 m each
Head Coach N3 m
Asst Coaches (3) N2.5 m
Team Doctor (1) N500,000 N7.75m N5m
Physiotherapist (1) N500,000
Team Secretary (1) N500,000
Team Coordinator (1) N300,000
Media Officer N300,000
Chief Tech Officer N300,000
TOTAL N54 m N7.75m N17m
MATCH BONUSES (Players)
SECOND ROUND – N3.25 million
QUARTER FINAL – N6.51 million
SEMI-FINAL – N13.02 million
– FOLUSO SAMUEL