In a recent exchange on Twitter, Osasu Obayiuwana, a renowned sports journalist, confronted Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, the General Secretary of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), regarding the unpaid bonuses, allowances of the Super Falcons, and the salary arrears of national team coaches.
The conversation shed light on the challenges facing Nigerian football, accountability in sports administration, and the responsibility of public servants to the game and the country.
Unpaid wages and allowances: The Super Falcons' struggle takes center stage
A candid conversation and Dr. Sanusi's response
Osasu Obayiuwana initiated the discussion by reminding Dr. Sanusi of his promise to address these pressing issues while he was covering the FIFA Women's World Cup in Australia.
He emphasized that those in leadership roles within national associations across Africa are accountable to both the game and the nation.
The conversation that followed was both enlightening and confrontational.
Dr. Sanusi acknowledged that scrutiny and accountability are essential aspects of his role but expressed frustration at what he perceived as a focus on the negative aspects of his work.
He accused Osasu Obayiuwana of reporting falsehoods without cross-checking with the Federation.
He emphasized the importance of balanced reporting in professional journalism.
Osasu Obayiuwana, in his defense, challenged Dr. Sanusi to provide evidence of any false reporting, prompting a discussion about the financial matters related to the Super Falcons' unpaid wages and allowances.
Clarification and controversy
Dr. Sanusi clarified that no NFF staff or board members received payments while in Australia and implied that they funded their trips themselves.
This statement led to further questions about the source of funds for the NFF delegation's lavish accommodations and allowances in Australia.
Osasu Obayiuwana continued to press for answers regarding the Super Falcons' unpaid daily allowances during the tournament.
Dr. Sanusi declined to provide a response, citing displeasure with past reporting.
Key points of the Twitter exchange
Unpaid Allowances: The journalist pressed Dr. Sanusi on whether the Super Falcons received their daily $100 allowances during their time in Australia.
Dr. Sanusi responded that he had answered similar questions before and that any issues with payments were due to misunderstandings.
He also mentioned that the NFF staff and board members in Australia received no funds from the federation during the trip.
Allegations of Negativity: Dr. Sanusi criticized the journalist for what he perceived as unbalanced reporting.
He cited a report that questioned the source of funds for the NFF contingent in Australia, contrasting it with the unpaid wages of the players and coaches.
Accountability and Transparency: The journalist continued to press Dr. Sanusi on accountability to the public and the players' allegations of mistreatment, which were published by The Athletic.
Dr. Sanusi defended the NFF's actions and stated that he is accountable to the NFF, Nigeria, CAF, and FIFA.
Coach José Peseiro's Unpaid Wages: The journalist questioned when Coach José Peseiro, who has reportedly worked without wages for months, would be paid.
Dr. Sanusi declined to answer the question, suggesting that it should have been asked privately.
Public servants under scrutiny: Examining accountability and transparency in sports
The exchange raised questions about accountability, transparency, and the role of public servants in sports administration.
Osasu Obayiuwana emphasized that those in leadership positions are ultimately accountable to the country and the public.
He pointed to the testimonies of the Super Falcons, who claimed that the NFF treated them poorly during their international campaigns.
The public exchange between Osasu Obayiuwana and Dr. Mohammed Sanusi sheds light on the challenges and controversies within Nigerian football administration.
It underscores the importance of accountability and transparency in sports organizations, where the welfare of players and coaches should be paramount.
The conversation serves as a reminder that sports leaders are accountable not only to the game but also to the nation and its passionate supporters.
The ball is now in the court of Nigerians to assess the situation and demand the transparency and accountability they deserve from their football federation.
This article was most recently revised and updated 2 months ago