Jose Peseiro, head coach of Nigeria’s national football team, has not received a single salary from his employers, six months after he was appointed to command the Super Eagles.
The 62-year-old, who took charge of the team in May, has yet to file an official complaint with the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) about the non-payment of his salary.
In response, the financially troubled NFF, which receives its funding from the country’s government, says it has drawn up a plan on how to clear the arrears.
The NFF already owes money to the Portuguese’s predecessor, Gernot Rohr, and players from his national teams.
“We heard from Mr Peseiro’s representatives that he only received his allowances and bonuses, which is very disturbing,” a senior NFF official told BBC Sport Africa on Tuesday.
“His salary is being paid by the Ministry of Sport, but we quickly made an alternative arrangement, in conjunction with the Ministry, to sort out salary payments this week.”
Nigeria’s Ministry of Sport, which took responsibility for paying Peseiro, blamed the delay in the processes for receiving funds from the federal government. A special adviser to the sports minister, Sunday Dare, said the coach would be paid “very soon”.
“The issue of Peseiro’s payment will be resolved soon with the understanding of the federation and the coach,” Toyin Ibitoye told the BBC.
“Everything is being worked on and we are quite confident that very soon it will be resolved.”
Since missing out on a 2022 World Cup berth in the Africa play-offs in March, Nigeria have won their only two competitive games under Peseiro, who previously led Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.
The Super Eagles beat Sierra Leone 2-1 and thrashed São Tomé and Príncipe 10-0 to ensure a perfect start to qualifying as they seek a spot in the next African Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast, scheduled for the start. of 2024.
Payment problems persist in Nigeria
It is not the first time that coaches have been caught in the net of unpaid wages in Nigeria.
The list of coaches who have had to go without pay for a while is long, including Christian Chukwu, Augustine Eguavoen, Samson Siasia, Sunday Oliseh, Florence Omagbemi and the late Shaibu Amodu and Stephen Keshi.
The NFF is still in debt to Peseiro’s predecessor Rohr as the football authority continues to pay the Franco-German and also owes outstanding bonuses to men’s and women’s senior players.
Super Eagles players are unhappy with unpaid bonuses and subsidies since 2021, while the Super Falcons are still waiting for the NFF and the Ministry of Sport to settle outstanding debts from the Women’s African Cup of Nations (Wafcon) and other training camps.
In July, the women’s team boycotted practice ahead of the Wafcon’s third-place play-off against Zambia due to non-payment of bonuses and subsidies.
There are strong hints of discontent over the delays in the squad, which has recently been involved in preparatory tours for the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Japan and the United States.
“We actually believe the ministry paid the NFF our Wafcon money, but they simply refused to make that payment to us,” one of the Super Falcons team members told the BBC.
“Imagine playing two games against the United States and another in Japan without receiving a penny. That’s very sad.”
Government officials also acknowledged debts to the nine-time African champions and the Super Eagles, as well as Peseiro, but say all parties must be patient.
“The Super Falcons payment classification process has already been approved and is with the Ministry of Finance,” added Ibitoye.