Speculations arose recently that world football governing body, FIFA would impose an $800,000 fine on Nigeria for withdrawing from a recent friendly against Iran. The Nigerian Football Federation however, moved fast by reaching out to their Iranian counterparts following the botched friendly rather than wait for the matter to be brought before FIFA.
According to a top NFF official, “We had to move fast to ensure that the issue of compensation was disclosed between the two federations, rather than have the matter deliberated on at FIFA level because then we would be liable for as much as $800,000.”
The official added: “We also wish to maintain a cordial working relationship with the Iranians and that was why we immediately asked them to inform us of the costs they incurred even before the story broke in the media.”
The Iran FA are now demanding a $300,000 compensation from the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) after Nigeria opted out of last Wednesday’s friendly citing “unavailability of key players”.
Iran are demanding for a compensation to cover costs of publicity and other pre-match expenses leading to the first-ever clash between the two countries that never was.
Local media reports in Nigeria have suggested that the sudden pullout by the Super Eagles from the November 17 friendly may not be unconnected with a political row between the governments of both countries over the illegal shipment of arms to Nigeria from Iran. Nevertheless, the Nigerian government is said to have stepped into the situation to pay the compensation.