Ahmed Musa
Nigeria's Ahmed Musa celebrates after scoring second goal against Argentina.Reuters

Nigeria players have missed a practice session on Thursday, in demand of getting the bonus payment for reaching the Round of 16 in the World Cup.

The Super Eagles were to train in Campinas but missed the bus because the players were meeting with the team management. The players are asking for the bonus payment before facing France in the knockout fixture on Monday.

Nigeria had to train at the Estadio Guarani at 18:00 local time and coach Stephen Keshi was waiting for the players to arrive in the holding area but they refused. Later, Ben Alaiya, team's media officer, informed that the players are in a meeting.

This is not the first time that the Nigerian players have taken such a stand as last year they had arrived late for the Confederations Cup, and threatened to boycott the tournament over payment row.

Nigeria Football Federation's (NFF) general secretary Musa Amadu had already returned to Abuja to release the funds from government reserves but players feel that they will not get their payments before their match against Les Bleus.

FIFA is yet to release bonus funds but the players are arguing that if they crash out of the tournament on Monday, it would be difficult for them to get the payments on time. In the 2010 World Cup, NFF had delayed the appearance fees till the conclusion of the tournament.

According to BBC, coach Keshi has assured that money controversy will not affect their performance in the Round of 16. They also reported that the team will travel to Brasilia on Friday and will train at the weekend.

Meanwhile, France coach Didier Deschamps insisted they have seen how Nigeria performed against Argentina and insisted they are not taking the Super Eagles lightly in the knockout round. Ahmed Musa scored twice for Nigeria in the last game and created plenty of problems for the South Americans.

"Nigeria is a solid, well-organized team," Deschamps said. "They defend well and they have a very good goalkeeper, quality and speed up front."

French's striker Karim Benzema, who has scored three goals in the tournament so far, insisted that they are pitted against a dangerous opponent and it will be a rugged encounter.

"Now we have to rest, recover and get 100 per cent ready for the knock-out match against Nigeria, who are a good, strong team, but we must do everything to win," Benzema said.

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