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Sports Minister Inaugurates Probe Panel on Eagles’ Bonus

Honourable Minister of Sports and Chairman of the National Sports Commission, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi has constituted a panel to probe the crisis over match allowance involving Super Eagles of Nigeria players in Namibia.

 The footballers had rejected the allowance approved for them by the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) after two away games with the national teams of Kenya and Namibia, towards qualifications for the World Cup. As a result of the protest, the footballers initially refused to board the plane to Brazil to participate in the FIFA Confederations Cup.

The NFF had offered to pay $5000 for a win and $2500 for a draw, but the players insisted on getting $10,000 for a win and $5000 for a draw. The disagreement was resolved by the intervention of the honourable minister who got additional funds to make up for the shortfall proposed by the NFF.

The panel will be chaired Mr. Segun Adeniyi, Chairman of Thisday Editorial Board and former Special Adviser to late President Umar Yar’Adua. He was also a member of the Presidential Task Force set up to ensure Nigeria’s qualification for the 2010 World Cup.

Other members of the panel are Onoche Anibeze, Group Sports Editor, Vanguard Newspaper; Aisha Falode, sports administrator; Shehu Dikko, member of the League Management Company; Akin Oshuntokun, former MD of News Agency of Nigeria; and Garba Lawal, former Super Eagles player.

The terms of reference of the panel are to determine the immediate and remote causes of the crisis over the match bonus, develop a code of conduct for players on national assignments, and any other recommendations that may be deemed necessary.

The panel, which would be inaugurated on Thursday 11th July 2013, has two weeks to submit its report.