Afcon 2019: Super Eagles’ debt settled ahead of Madagascar game

The former national team midfielder has called on Nigeria to ensure they maintain the same intensity when they face the Barea on Sunday

With a few hours to Sunday’s Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) clash against Madagascar, Nigeria's national team players have been paid their outstanding bonuses and allowances.

The buildup to Wednesday’s clash with Guinea had suffered a setback as a bonus row grabbed the headlines, with players boycotting the pre-match conference and arrived late for training.

However, they received their entitlements on Saturday, after the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) granted the players’ wish of having the money in their accounts to cover their owed 22-day payments.

Also, the Super Eagles received bonuses for their victories over Burundi and Guinea.

Team’s spokesperson Toyin Ibitoye confirmed this development while clarifying money is not an inspiration for Gernot Rohr’s men.

“They have been paid but the bonus doesn’t change anything because the boys have always been focused,” Ibitoye told Goal.

“How to defeat Madagascar and top Group B is our major focus and not the money.

“There are still of lot of games to be played in this tournament so we won’t let money derail our focus.”

Unpaid bonuses are not new in Nigerian football. First, the Nigeria U20 team embarked on a sit-in protest and refused to leave Poland after their elimination from the Fifa U20 World Cup.

Recently, the Nigeria women’s senior national team, who were knocked out of the Women’s World Cup in France, declined to leave their hotel until all outstanding bonuses were paid – a claim the NFF denied, insisting Thomas Dennerby’s ladies were not owed.

Nigeria face Madagascar at the Alexandria Stadium and would be hoping to grab their third consecutive win to finish as Group B winners.