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The Kwara State Government has called for understanding as former players of Kwara United on Tuesday disrupted the team’s training session at the stadium pitch in Ilorin.
United were preparing for training, ahead of their first leg of the TotalEnergies CAF Confederation Cup encounter against champions RSB Berkane of Morocco.
The training at the Kwara Football Academy was truncated as the ex-players claimed they were owed sign-on fees by the government and past management of the club.
According to eyewitnesses, the players invaded the pitch and seized some of the balls and other training equipment to protest their owed sign-on fees.
“What happened today (Tuesday) is a follow-up to several others by the former players, who claimed they were owed sign-on-fees and other allowances for services they rendered while at the club,” a source said.
Speaking on behalf of the group, Akeem Audu and Kehinde Ayeni appealed to the state Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, to pay them their entitlements, which they said would help cushion the effect of the current economic hardships.
“To take care of our families is now something very difficult. Our entitlements need to be paid. We have appealed to all those concerned, and written to the government and the League Management Company about our plight, but we know this government can help us out,” Audu said.
The players appreciated Governor AbdulRazaq for his efforts in sports development in the state and beyond.
While addressing the players, Chairman, Kwara State Sports Commission, Bola Mogaji, said that efforts were being made to have the money, which he clarified was owed the players and officials by the past management and government, paid.
“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,” Mogaji said.
Kwara United FC eliminated AS Douanes 3-0 on aggregate in the Preliminary Round of the CAF Confederation Cup and will play Berkane Oct 9 at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Lagos.