Manchester City of England youth team player, Ayotomiwa ‘Tom’ Dele-Bashiru and Bournemouth fringe player, Nnamdi Ofoborh may both get strong chances of future invitations to Nigeria’s national teams, sequel to their boycott of a protest over unpaid bonuses by the under-20 side, Flying Eagles’ under-achievers in Poland.
While other players stood their ground and refused to leave the FIFA U-20 World Cup hotel in Lodz, until they were thrown out by officials, Dele-Bashiru and Ofoborh left early same day, back to England, before the matter was resolved by Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) secretary-general, Dr Mohammed Sanusi.
Dele-Bashiru and Ofoborh had already left the Flying Eagles behind in Warsaw, before Sanusi was eventually able appease to protesting players, with who he reach an agreement for them to leave Poland the following day and return to Nigeria on Wednesday.
The remaining players were literally bundled out of Hotel Ambassador Premium, as they had been expected to leave on Tuesday, after a 2-1 loss to Senegal sent them packing from Poland 2019 in the round of 16, but the players refused to leave their abode in Lodz, insisting that the NFF had failed to pay them $5,000 each as qualification bonus.
Although the NFF explained that the among in question was actually $1,500 for each of the players, the under-performing lads insisted on being paid $5,000 each for reaching the second round and they refused to leave their hotel unless their demands were met.
Rather than stay sober after their defeat, the players refused to vacate their rooms at Hotel Ambasador Premium in Lodz, to the extent that many of them ended up missing flights to their respective destinations.
The players started protesting soon after returning to their hotel after Monday’s loss, as they reckoned it was the last opportunity to get any payment of their entitlements since starting the race to Poland 2019.
The players further avowed that the NFF had not paid them their camp allowances and winning bonuses for qualifying to the round of 16, the total of which is said to be around $5,000 to each of the lads.
While claiming that the money had been released by Nigeria’s federal government to the NFF, they alleged that it was the officials that gave those dropped from their final training base in Germany $100 each.
At that point too, the players were said to have cried wolf, while one of those from Europe out-rightly rejected the money, with a view that it was too meager, a line which those who played the competition in such pathetic form also followed on Monday night.
The delegation ended up missing their flight to Abuja, but NFF head of media, Ademola Olajire said it was a minor occurrence in the Flying Eagles and assured that the squad will be back home on Wednesday.
Olajire told BBC Sport: “There was a minor delay but we are expecting the team to leave for Nigeria on Wednesday.”