$10m Grant For Africa W/C Representatives

IN a bid to avoid strikes that have blighted African nations’ participation at previous World Cup tournaments, Caf have secured a $10 million grant that will be shared by the five nations that qualified for this year’s tournament in Russia.

Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia will each get $2 million “to settle beforehand the question of bonuses due to the players”.

Caf president Ahmad Ahmad said disputes in previous tournaments had badly affected the image of African football and also resulted in poor performances by participating teams.

No African country has gone beyond the quarter-final stage in the history of the World Cup.

“Disputes over payments at previous tournaments had led to situations that affected badly the image of African football, with a considerable impact on team performances,” said Ahmad.

Last year, the Nigeria Football Federation signed an agreement with its players, pledging to avoid the bonus and pay rows that have blighted past World Cup campaigns.

The Super Eagles were involved in a protracted dispute ahead of the 2013 Confederations Cup in Brazil and a bonus row also disrupted their World Cup campaign in 2014.

Similar problems have affected other African teams. At the 2014 World Cup, Cameroon arrived late, Ghana’s government had to fly in $3 million cash to avert a strike.

The 32 teams taking part in the June-July tournament receive $1.5 million each from Fifa in the form of a preparation fee and are guaranteed a minimum of $8 million more in prize money after the tournament ends.

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