By: Sam Ade, Abuja: Sports Minister, Bolaji Abdullahi on Friday inaugurated the Segun Adeniyi-led panel set up to investigate the Super Eagles’ bonus crisis that ensued in Windhoek, Namibia shortly after the 2014 World Cup qualifying match between the Eagles and the Namibia senior national team. He gave the panel two weeks to turn in its report.
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 stalemate was broken by the intervention of the Minister who got additional funds to make up for the shortfall proposed by the NFF.
“The task would be difficult more since it has to do with a contentious issue like sports or football. But we believe that all the members in this Panel are capable of discharging this duty effectively and efficiently because of their pedigree,” Abdullahi said.
The Panel is chaired by Segun Adeniyi. Chairman of Thisday Newspapers Editorial Board and a former member of the Presidential Task Force, which was set up to ensure Nigeria’s qualification for the 2010 World Cup.
Other members of the panel are: Onoche Anibeze (Group Sports Editor, Vanguard), Female football stakeholder, Aisha Falode, Shehu Dikko who is also a Member of the League Management Company will serve as the Panel’s Secretary, Akin Oshuntokun, a Former MD of the News Agency of Nigeria, former Super Eagles midfielder, Garba Lawal and Hon. Abdulkadri Maman Nasir
In his reaction, the Chairman of the Panel , Mr. Adeniyi thanked the Minister and assured him of doing a good job at the end of the two week time lag given to the Panel.
“I just want to thank the Minister for the confidence repose in us for this important assignment. I think the day of talking will come on the day we present our report. I believe in the caliber of the people we have here (in the Panel) to come up with recommendations that will help our football”, he assured.
The Minister gave the Committee issued out terms of reference to the Panel which include:
a. Determine the immediate and remote causes of the crisis over the match bonus that happened recently in Namibia and make appropriate recommendations in that regard.
b. This Panel will also be expected to develop a code of conduct for players on national assignments
c. and thirdly given the background and the concern that this has generated the Panel is expected to give any other recommendations that may be deemed necessary towards finding a lasting solution to the problems that we have identified.