We at SCORENIGERIA today call on the League Management Company (LMC) to without further delay release FC Ifeanyiubah players from their contracts and at the same time ensure they get what they worked for after going without salaries for the past five months.
As they say, justice delayed is justice denied.
The law of contract clearly states that if there be a breach by one party, the other party is at liberty to terminate such an agreement.
The Framework and Rules of the NPFL as conveyed by the LMC also stipulates in Article 9.45.2 – Any club found to have delayed a due payment for more than 30 days without a prima facie contractual basis may be sanctioned in accordance with paragraph 4 below.
Such sanctions will include fines, transfer ban and even point deductions.
This has yet to be applied in various similar cases with the latest being that involving the players of FC Ifeanyiubah.
We strongly condemn the tardiness and indifference with which the LMC has approached such a sensitive matter that directly affects negatively the careers and means of livelihood of the main actors of the game, most of whom are bread winners of their homes.
Over time, the LMC has been praised for the courage and dispatch it has decided on a rash of vexed disciplinary issues in the NPFL no matter whose ox is gored.
However, we are scandalised and totally disappointed that in this digital age it has taken the LMC an eternity to reconcile the claims and counter claims of both the players and the management of FC Ifeanyiubah as regards the salary payments.
The players are paid through the bank, and not by cash, and as such it will not take weeks for the LMC to verify the claims of the players.
A random investigation shows that defender Olamilekan Adeleye, who recently represented Nigeria at the WAFU Cup in Ghana, is on a monthly salary of 400,000 Naira, but he has not been paid for the past five months.
In between these months, he was able to secure a loan of 180,000 Naira with the agreement that this sum will be deducted from his salary, which has since not been forthcoming.
This is the case with most of the other players at this club.
The tardiness and lack of decisiveness with which the LMC handled a similar case involving government-owned FC Taraba about three years ago is why the problem at this club has refused to go away.
This past week, players of the same FC Taraba were shot at by police, some thrown into detention and generally man handled because they staged a protest march to demand for their entitlements.
The LMC cannot continue to supervise a league it is often quick to pride itself of having improved, but where the basic rights of the main actors are trampled upon with such impunity season after season.
The LMC has to therefore do the needful and it has to do it without further delay.