Nigeria Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung, has told the BBC the ongoing standoff over bonuses for the Super Falcons, the newly crowned women football champions of Africa, is “pathetic”.
Nigeria’s national women’s football team clinched their eighth African title on Saturday with a 1-0 win over hosts Cameroon.
But after their welcome home, they have refused to leave a hotel in the capital, Abuja, until they are paid $17,150 ( £13,500) per player as promised by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) for winning.
Mr Dalung told the BBC’s Newsday programme that the NFF was to blame for the situation for not submitting the request for funds for the team in good time.
He said that the government was working “tirelessly” to resolve the situation and that the government was working to fix “structural problems” which have been behind similar situations with other sports federation.
BBC Sport reports that the Super Falcons are also owed allowances and other payments, including their bonus for qualifying for competition.
One of the players told BBC Sport that their sit-in at the Agura hotel would not end until they each player received a total of $23,650 each.