Wafcon 2022: Nigeria set for third-place play-off after bonus row

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Christy Ucheibe heads at goal for NigeriaNigeria players are due $3,000 for each group-stage win at Wafcon - including their success over Botswana

Players of nine-time African champions Nigeria have played down their bonus row and insisted it will not affect the team in Friday's Women's Africa Cup of Nations (Wafcon) third-place play-off against Zambia.

"Although we haven't received the money, going out to play Zambia is our priority now," one of the players told BBC Sport Africa.

"We've been assured that payments were being processed and no-one even spoke about it when we returned to training on Thursday.

"These bonus problems will not have any effect on the team because we are all professionals."

The players say they are awaiting bonus from the NFF for qualifying for the finals, as well as agreed allowances and over $10,000 owed to each of the squad for their three victories in Morocco.

BBC Sport understands the squad fear they will not be paid after the tournament - a situation that has occurred twice in the past.

Former international Rachael Ayegba, part of Nigeria's 2004 Wafcon-winning side, experienced similar problems during her time with the Super Falcons, and said seeing another boycott is "embarrassing".

"It's unfortunately our reality and that's why we made our feelings known in form of a protest on Wednesday," another member of the squad in Morocco added.

"It didn't need to get to this level but we only did what we could to get paid our dues."

Nigeria are looking to end their campaign with a medal after losing the semi-final to Morocco in a penalty shoot-out despite holding out for over 50 minutes with only nine players.

The continent's most successful side the West Africans are playing in only their third Wafcon third-place play-off - this time against the Copper Queens (20:00 GMT).

The previous two matches were against rivals Cameroon, whom they beat on penalties in 2008, but Nigeria lost the 2012 fixture 1-0 to the Indomitable Lionesses.

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