Governor Olusegun Mimiko’s re-election campaign may be stalling payment of the footballer’s allowances
All is not well in the camp of Sunshine Stars Football Club, Nigeria’s representative in the CAF Champions League.
Contrary to a statement by the Team Manager and Director of Ondo State Football Agency, Mike Idoko, earlier in the week, that the players of the team have been issued cheques to offset owed monies, a Sunshine player, Ajani Ibrahim, exclusively told PREMIUM TIMES Friday night that none of the players have received any cheque for any payment.
Idoko had on a radio interview on Tuesday morning said cheques were issued late Monday night to the players.
“There is no more problem again. As at when I was leaving the office last night(Monday), cheques were being issued to the players” Idoko said on air.
That however seems not to be the case as Ajani in a phone chat revealed that the continuous delay in paying their backlog of outstanding allowances has seen the players boycott training in the past three days, despite the crucial semi final match ahead of the team in less than 10 days.
“We are no longer training as a team, everybody is just training on their own just to be fit because we are not happy with what is going on.
” We have not been given any Cheque for any payment, how do you now expect the best from a player who is downcasted because he has not been paid, I hope the management can get their acts fast and pay us because time is not on our side” Ajani said.
Sunshine Stars have been pitched against Egyptian giants, Al-Ahly, in the semi final of the prestigious CAF Champions League. While the Egyptians, despite being regarded as the stronger of the two teams, are contemplating going on a training tour of UAE or Kuwait to perfect their strategies, the Nigerian team is locked in arguments over unpaid monies.
Sunshine, owned by the Ondo State government, crashed out at this similar stage in the CAF Confederation Cup last season. The team has to get on track in time if their ambition of emulating two time champions, Enyimba of Aba, in the CAF Champions League is to see the light.
Some analysts have blamed Sunshine’s current predicament on the coming governorship election in Ondo State as they suggest the campaign for re-election by the state governor, Olusegun Mimiko, has kept his administration from attending to the plight of the footballers.