Members of the association of professional footballers in Nigeria APFON have lambasted the Nigeria football federation, NFF, over their insensitive posture and the non implementation of the 2010 decision over players who were owed monies by various clubs in the Nigerian league.
Speaking during a press conference with sports writers in Warri ahead of the NFF annual general meeting, the executive secretary of the players union Comrade Austin Popo lamented the position the football body NFF has taken since 2010 noting that it shows total neglect on those who have served the country in time past.
The ex-International and former New Nigerian bank player also said that they have also gained support from Trade Union Congress TUC to give them official backing to achieve their aim and that APFON will also seek redress in the law court if they explore all avenues to get the monies meant for the players from the various clubs.
Popo will also say that it was suppose to be a protest but threats from a bigwig of the Delta state F.A made him retrace his steps and instead decided to brief the press on the recent development. “Initially We were suppose to stage a protest rally over the insensitive posture of the Nigerian football Federation. There were threats here and there but we decided to instead hold a press conference. Since 2010 NFF failed to implement the decision reached on money owed players”.
Furthermore Popo said that some players and coaches have died without collecting their monies.
He added that APFON is not alone in this fight as the coaches association is also wholeheartedly supporting them as most of them are also owed.
He noted that the sum of #250 million naira for cases already decided is being owed various players and that over #750 million naira in all which is dangerous and not encouraging knowing fully well that NFF changes administration often which will leave them with no option than saying it was not during their administration that the money were owed.
On Warri Wolves players , Popo said their case is very pathetic because of the huge funmds spent on the club over years. He noted that a record of a total amount of #17 million naira was owed 19 players of the club already decided so there should be no denial by anybody from the club that players were not owed.
He lamented that the league is dropping standard because of this situation adding that according to FIFA rules, players are supposed to have contracts and a copy given to them but the reverse is the case and NFF should be blamed as they don’t have a regulating committee.
He also added that (TUC) Trade Union Congress is working on something and in due course we can have the backing to shut out stadia to drive home our point if these monies are not paid and other demands are not met.
Popo will go on to praise the LMC Chairman Nduka Irabor for being sensitive on the matter and that being an honourable man, he knows that he will shut out clubs who are owing players.