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Professional Footballers Association Of Nigeria Accuses NFF Of Misappropriation

The Chairman of the Professional Footballers Association of Nigeria Task Force, Harrison Jalla, has urged the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to account for funds the federation received from FIFA between 2014 and 2024.

According to a statement issued by Harrison Jalla, the NFF has misappropriated the sum of $21.1 million in grants in the last ten years.

The task force chairman and retired footballer said the NFF received these funds from the world football governing body, FIFA, and the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) between 2014 and 2024.

Jalla lamented that even though the NFF received the said amount from the international football bodies, the federation is still not able to pay players their outstanding allowances and bonuses.

He added that the NFF is owing even hotel bills despite the amount of funds released to them including the 12 billion naira Presidential Intervention Fund approved by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Harrison Jalla argued that the sports minister, John Enoh, ought to have ordered the account of the funds from CAF and FIFA before he pushed for the intervention fund.

He said, “What happened to these funds from FIFA and CAF from 2014-2024: $8.6m 2014 World Cup grant, $10m 2018 World Cup grant and FIFA Assisted Programme grant 2015: $2.5m?

“All these funds disappeared into thin air and translated into huge debts, outstanding hotel bills and outstanding match bonuses to Super Eagles players, the Falcons, and all strata of the national teams and coaches.

“Without diligently probing how the NFF found itself in this financial mess, the Honourable Minister of Sports, Senator John Enoh, convinced President Tinubu to release an intervention fund of N12bn, which the President graciously approved. Even the N12bn, as we speak, is alleged to have been misappropriated, with only two in the outstanding match bonuses and allowances paid so far.”

Harrison Jalla added, “By January 2026, NFF would have received $18m from three cycles of the FIFA Forward programme with no tangible project on the ground, plus the steady FIFA annual grants to all its 211 members and CAF grants to all its 54 members. The recent CAF grant for the 2023 AFCON is estimated to be about $7m.

“Let’s leave out the billions of naira from corporate sponsorship and appropriation by the National Assembly through the federation account between 2014 to 2024.”

Need for a robust technical department in the NFF

Harrison Jalla also frowned at the NFF’s decision to go for a foreign coach after the resignation of coach Finidi George barely two months after his appointment.

Jalla argued that the country needed a long-term plan to produce coaches worthy of handling national team assignments, a need the NFF has failed to meet despite the huge funds released to the body over the years.

He said, “Ten years of long-term planning should be more than sufficient to develop a robust technical department to upgrade Nigerian coaches for national team assignments. With the right people in charge of football in Nigeria—a country that was once ranked fifth best in the world—Nigeria should by now be the hub and centre for the training and development of African countries, not Europe or South America.

“The technical departments of top football federations are commercially viable sub-sectors because they generate revenue. A fraction of the grants from FIFA and CAF from 2014 to 2024 is more than sufficient to establish a robust and commercially viable technical department that would have upgraded a good number of Indigenous coaches for our national teams. It’s a big shame for a country like Nigeria to be talking of hiring a foreign coach in 2024.”

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