A meeting between top officials of FC Ifeanyiubah and the players over claims and counter claims of unpaid salaries did not take place in Nnewi today after thugs allegedly disrupted the parley and attacked the lawyer representing the players.
FC Ifeanyiubah are owned by oil mogul Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah, who is also chairman of the Anambra FA.
SCORENigeria gathered that the meeting, which was scheduled for 12 noon today at the FC Ifeanyiubah offices in Nnewi, but thugs allegedly called by officials of the NPFL club stormed the meeting room and insisted that lawyer Iyke Igbokwe stay out of the meeting.
“The meeting in Nnewi between FC Ifeanyiubah and the 24 players I represent did not take place because as many as five thugs were invited and they disrupted the meeting by insisting I should not be part of it,” said Igbokwe, who incidentally was secretary when the club were then known as Gabros FC.
“I am hugely disgusted and disappointed that thuggery is now being used to resolve contract issues in Nigerian football.
“The LMC was represented by former NPFL star Victor Ezeji and Barrister Kevin and this disruption was a direct slap on the LMC, who I expect to now come down hard on the club.”
He added: “This is a big shame on Nigerian football, that a club who pride themselves as billionaires have failed to be responsible enough to pay up the five months’ salaries of helpless and hopeless players.
“What is even most embarrassing is that eight of the affected players are foreigners who went home empty handed and are now telling their woes to their country people.”
Several players told SCORENigeria they rejected overtures to meet with the club officials after their lawyer was barred from representing them.
They also alleged the officials have asked they make do with two months salaries if they agreed to forfeit the other months, but they have refused this.
The players said this was what happened three years ago when they were owed four months’ salaries and they agreed to forfeit two months’ pay after they were paid for two months.
Some of the players they were not paid for up to three months last year even though they were contracted to ‘The Anambra Warriors’.
But an FC Ifeanyiubah official insisted they simply stopped Igbokwe from the meeting because “he would bring confusion”.