Nigeria Bonus Row: Investigative panel blames Keshi, Eagles, NFF

Investigations into the bonus row that almost derailed Nigeria’s participation at the Confederations Cup has indicted all parties involved

The Olusegun Adeniyi Panel that was set up by minister of sports Bolaji Abdullahi to investigate the bonus row that threatened the Super Eagles’ participation at the Confederations Cup has placed the blame for the crisis on all parties involved.

Adeniyi's panel submitted its report to Abdullahi in Abuja on Thursday. 

The panel took a swipe at coach Stephen Keshi, the Nigeria Football Federation and some players of the team. The players that were fingered were stand-in captain Vincent Enyeama, Mikel Obi, Austin Ejide and Brown Ideye.

Adeniyi also revealed that the panel put phone calls across to these players via text messages which they never replied, but only the captain of the team Joseph Yobo called back to state his position on the matter.

The bonus crisis ensued in Windhoek, Namibia in June shortly after the Nigerian team played a 1-1 draw with the hosts in a 2014 World Cup qualifier.

 Adeniyi who visited the minister in his office on Thursday made a summary of their findings.

On the Namibia issue, Adeniyi explained: “In the particular instance in Namibia, one thing was clear from all the submissions made to our Panel and the interactive sessions we held with critical stakeholders; the Super Eagles players who were handsomely rewarded by Nigerians for winning the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament only three months earlier could not appreciate the implication of embarrassing their country while the technical crew conveniently looked the other way because of their own pecuniary and vested interests.

“Of course, the football administration was also tardy in the manner in which it handled communication on the bonus issue by not formally conveying its decisions to the players ahead of the tournament,” Adeniyi stated.

Abdullahi thanked the Panel for a good job and vowed to adopt all their recommendations to the letter.