The cash rain for the Super Eagles and the Nigeria Football Federation appears unending as the world football ruling body FIFA has just made the Confederations Cup more lucrative.
No matter which way the Confederation Cup title goes, Nigeria will return from the intercontinental football fiesta in June with lots of cash.
FIFA has increased the total prize money for the competition by 14 per cent compared with the last edition held in South Africa in 2009, giving the winners the opportunity to go home with over $4m besides carting home the trophy. The runners-up, meanwhile, will earn $3.6m.
In all a total prize pool of $20m will be shared among the eight participating nations. The winners of the third-place match will go home with $3m, while the fourth-placed team will have $2.5m.
Teams eliminated during the group phase and finishing fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth will each receive $1.7m.
At the 2009 edition of the FIFA Confederations Cup, the total prize fund was $17.6m, with champions Brazil picking up $3.75m along with the coveted trophy.
The Super Eagles qualified to be part of the event after emerging as the African champions at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa where they went past Ivory Coast and Mali at the knock-out stages before beating Burkina Faso 1-0 in the final.
Nigeria are the second least rated team at the Confederations Cup (30 in the FIFA rankings) behind Tahiti who are 148th. But being African champions should count for something when they play world champions, Spain, Uruguay and Tahiti in Group B of the tournament. Experts say winning the African cup has improved their position psychologically. Eagles’ opening game is against islanders Tahiti in the competition billed for Brazil.
Group A has hosts Brazil, Italy, Mexico and Japan.
The Eagles are already guaranteed a smooth financial entrance into Brazil as the Presidency has accepted to give the team a special financial grant for the competition. The sum approved in principle is separate from the NFF’s budget for 2013.
Even though the country won the African cup after 19 years of waiting, the NFF returned with debts having introduced huge match-win bonuses for the players amongst other expenditures.