According to a report by SaharaReporters, some former players and workers of the Nigerian Professional Football League side, Kwara United FC, have staged a protest on Tuesday.
They stormed the team’s training ground at the Kwara Football Academy pitch to protest the non-payment of their entitlements during their stay at the club.
SaharaReporters had reported how the former players were turned to beggars and suffered ruined careers amid neglect, and unpaid entitlements by the club.
The players had it all planned like many others; make some money, make a good name that would attract better offers from clubs abroad. But, despite using their sweat to serve Kwara United for four years, the players have yet to live the life of their dreams.
"For the past four years that Kwara United has terminated my contract, I have had my career stuck. All my efforts to play for another club were not successful.
"It is like my football career has ended," one of the players, Abubakar had said, in a voice laden with grief and hopelessness.
It was gathered that the team was training, ahead of their first leg of the TotalEnergies CAF Confederation Cup encounter against the defending champions, RSB Berkane of Morocco when these ex-players invaded the pitch and disrupted the session.
In a video made available to SaharaReporters, the players were seen seizing some of the club’s properties, including some training materials given to the club by CAF, insisting that they would not allow the team to train unless their demands were met.
Many of the former players were heard appealing to the state Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, to pay them their entitlements, which they said would help cushion the effect of the current economic hardships.
“I haven’t eaten since yesterday. I can’t take care of my family. We are hungry,” one of the players said in the video.
However, the Chairman, Kwara State Sports Commission, Bola Mogaji, while addressing the players, said that efforts were being made to pay the money, which he clarified was owed the players and officials by the past management and government.
He said, “My attention was called to the protest, and I had to address the players and also let them know the position of the government on the issue. I want to commend them for giving me the honour to address them. I appealed to them, made them to understand that efforts were in top gear to have the debts cleared, and that I will personally supervise the payment of the debt, anytime the money is released.”