For the first time in the history of Cote D’Ivoire football, the national team players ignored bonus talks prior to the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), giving the Ivorian Football Federation (FIF) a carte blanche to decide the amount and payment date.
“Didier Drogba and his mates told me, ‘President, we are going to Gabon and Equatorial Guinea to play. If we win the title, feel free to give us whatever you think we deserve at your convenient time,” the Cote D’Ivoire FA boss Sidy Diallo told reporters on Tuesday.
FIF’s executive committee later fixed the bonuses at 61,000 euros for each player if the team wins the title. However, the Elephants finished as finalists, losing to Zambia on penalties.
Due to the team’s near flawless campaign at the showpiece, the governing body decided to keep its promise and pay the bonuses in full. Only a few players have received part of that payment however, which is said to be 18,000 euros per head. The remaining members of the squad are currently pressuring the FA for their due, according to Goal.com’s source at the body.
“It is their right and we are willing to comply,” Diallo said. “There have been some unforeseen circumstances delaying disbursement, but we promise to pay the remainder of the bonuses to every player.”
It is unclear when Drogba and company will get their bonuses and how a prolonged delay will affect preparations for the 2013 AFCON qualifiers.