Players featuring for clubs in the domestic league will soon have cause to smile following a declaration by the National Association Of Nigerian Footballers (NANF) yesterday that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has recovered over N344 million ($1,091,199) through an on-going bid to retrieve all looted football funds, debts and outstanding payments.
NANF President, Harrison Jala in an interview with the Guardian said all Nigerian football players, particularly those who played in the Nigeria Profession Football League (NPFL) between 2010 to 2015, would benefit from the recovered loot.
“This is also applicable to coaches and managers, who were engaged within this time frame,” Jala stated.
According to him, NANF is working with the EFCC to recover looted funds in Nigerian football, debts and outstanding payments since 2010 till date.
Jala said that the looted funds, debts and outstanding payments, which run into several billions of naira, are in three categories viz:
• The Nigeria Premier League/ NPFL-funds accruing to the premier league/NPFL since 2010, particularly through broadcast rights and its activation, title right and its activation and licensing and commercial revenue.
• The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) funds accruing to the Nigeria Football Federation since 2010 through the following sources:- Statutory allocation from the federation account, title sponsorship right for all the national teams, broadcast rights for all the national teams, annual FIFA grants and royalties, kitting contracts and other commercial properties.
• Premier league/ NPFL Clubs and the nationwide league clubs- funds accruing to clubs particularly through statutory allocation from the states government and through merchandising and other sources.
He revealed that so far, the sum of $1,091,199 has been recovered from a firm, which had rights to some of the league’s properties.
The sum is an outstanding debt for broadcast rights fees for 2012/2013, 2013/2014, 2014/2015 Football seasons for the Nigeria Premier League.
“This recovered fund and indeed all funds recovered in category 1 will be disbursed directly to players, coaches and managers who have outstanding issues of unpaid salaries, match bonuses, and contract fees with their clubs,”He said.