Sunshine Stars’ players have hinted that they might pull out of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) due to a dispute over unpaid wages.
The Owena Whales have not received their salaries for the past seven months, while the NPFL club’s staff have not been paid for over 13 months despite a promise that the outstanding debt be cleared before February 15.
However, that deadline was not met, prompting Kayode Olujohungbe’s men to take action, storming the Governor’s Office in Alagbaka area of Akure, vowing to remove themselves from all on-field duties.
”Henceforth, we are not going to attend trainings neither are we going to play against Rivers United on Sunday,” a player told Goal.com in Akure.
”We are tired of keeping quiet till we all die of hunger because we all worked very hard for our money. We have families to take care of yet they (club management and government) push us all around.
”They want us to win the league and play in the CAF Champions League, how are we going to achieve that when we are starving? Enough is enough.”
A staff of the Ondo State Football Agency who pleaded anonymity told Goal.com that the players will be reimbursed but will have to wait till the newly elected governor is sworn into office.
”We are not happy that we are owing these players but I can assure you, they will be paid as soon as possible.
”Right now, it is very difficult for the government to release funds because they are preparing to move out for Governor Rotimi Akeredolu who would be sworn in this week.
”Hopefully, when he comes on board, everything will be settled and the players will all smile home. My appeal is that the players should not carry out their threat to boycott the league.
”That will not be good for our image as a great team with bright potentials to compete for the league title.’’
The players have vowed not to leave the Governor’s Office until they get firm assurance that they would be paid their allowances before Friday.
This recurring decimal will be recalled led to the mass departure of several players most notably Prince Aggrey, Tamen Medrano, Iyorha Luther and Musa Newman in 2015.
Sunshine Stars are two points away from the relegation zone with nine points from nine Nigeria topflight games. They forced Nasarawa United to a 1-1 in their last outing in Lafia.