Ivory Coast players are yet to receive bonuses for their victory at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea, according to a member of the team, Geoffrey Serey Die.
The 30-year-old defensive midfielder of VfB Stuttgart refuted a claim by the country’s sports minister that the players and technical staff have all been paid their due.
“It’s not true. It’s all rumours. We have not been paid our bonuses. Most of us have been quiet on it because we don’t want Ivorians to feel we come to play for money,” Die told state-owned Radio Cote D’Ivoire.
“However, it is our right. We went for a tournament. We worked hard. We won the trophy. We have to be paid what we were given as promises,” he said.
The Ivorian Football Federation and the Ministry of Sports have been issuing contradictory statements about the issue. Heads of both establishments have not been on good terms following the ministry’s refusal to fund the Elephants’ participation at the 2015 Afcon.
The country’s president, Alassane Ouattara, eventually intervened and issued a cheque of $6 million to the FA to foot their bills at the tournament.
Upon their return, each player from the successful team was promised $97,000 (a $50,000 house plus 47,000 in cash).
Coach Herve Renard would take home $123,000 while another $490,000 would be shared among members of the technical staff.
Ivory Coast won their second Afcon title against Ghana on penalties in Bata, Equatorial Guinea in early February.