Air Peace N10m Gift Splits Ex-Falcons Stars

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The 1999 class of Super Falcons, largely regarded as the Golden Generation of the country’s women footballers, appears to be split into two groups following a N10m gift from Air Peace CEO Allen Onyema last September.

Our correspondent learnt that Onyema had gifted the said sum to the entire 1999 Falcons, the only side to have reached the quarter-finals of the Women’s World Cup, during an award ceremony organised by the Nigeria Football Federation to honour the squad.

However, some members of the squad allegedly shared the money amongst themselves, excluding five others – captain Florence Omagbemi, Patience Avre, Prisca Emeafu, Kikelomo Ajayi and Eberechi Opara, who were absent at the event.

An angry Avre, who is now based in the US, stated in a Facebook video post that she would not give up until she was given her share of the money.

She told The PUNCH that she was invited for the event in Lagos but couldn’t travel down after she gave birth and her mother was hospitalised.

She said, “Key players in the team casted votes and voted five of us out and they shared the money amongst themselves,” Avre lamented in the video.

“For two months, none of them mentioned it and they want me to keep quiet?  I played for Nigeria for more than 20 years; I never received that kind of money. For the first time, a generous person gave the Super Falcons money, and NFF hosted us. I’m crying out, Nigerians support me; these girls did a bad thing.

Give me my money, I beg you in the name of God. As you all casted the votes amongst yourselves, you will get this message all the time, unless you give me my money. I’m talking for myself, I need my money. I need my N700,000 plus of the money. You people are so greedy.

“I’ve spoken to the NFF president Amaju Pinnick and he said the money is for the Super Falcons, he said the money is for us, not for 14 of you, get it right now.”

But Avre’s ex-teammate, Maureen Mmadu, a beneficiary, insisted the money was meant for members of the squad who graced the award ceremony in Lagos.

“I can only talk about what I know. The money was given to us to share among those of us in the dressing room. I don’t know why they are bringing this up now, this incident happened about three months ago,” Mmadu told our correspondent.

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