By Izuchukwu Okosi:
Super Eagles and Enyimba midfielder Ikechukwu Ibenegbu has revealed that he and 12 other former Warri Wolves players have contacted FIFA to have their owed entitlements settled.
Ibenegbu hope Woves are banned from participating in the CAF Champions League because of this breach.
Ibenegbu who was part of former Super Eagles coach Sunday Oliseh’s team to the 2016 Africa Nations Championship in Rwanda put up a message on Facebook to express grievance on the attitude of the club owners.
The players include Nigeria internationals Azubuike Egwuekwe, Solomon Kwambe, Gbolahan Salami and ThankGod Ike; U-23 Eagles stars Oghenekaro Etebo and Stanley Dimgba.
Ojo Mine, Ikechukwu Ibenegbu, Abu Azeez, Ichull Lordson, Omofoman Freedom, Joseph Osadiaye and Oke Ogagotweho are also among the claimants.
Ibenegbu spoke further with Completesportsnigeria.com on the players’ sad experience.
“The management of Warri Wolves are owing the Warri Wolves players 15% of Sign-on-Fees dating back to 2014. And since last year, 2015, they have been owing us 100% accumulated wages. We negotiated how they’ll pay that with the General Manager, Davidson Owumi.
“The club were paying only the basic salaries due to how the money comes from the state government-on a quarterly basis. They assured us that we will get our accumulated wages in due time, but till now, nothing yet has happened.
“And instead of paying all of the players’ bonuses due to them during the Super 4 tournament which culminated in their qualification to the CAF Champions League, they paid only some of us.
“The new chairman of Warri Wolves, Etuk Moses, told some of us at a meeting that the players can only get 25% of what they are being owed. I was in the CHAN Eagles camp then. I called him on phone and he said same thing to me. That he wasn’t going to pay me because I didn’t play,” Ibenegbu explained whilst speaking with Completesportsnigeria.com.
“At this point, we had to inform the League Management Company (LMC) and they promised us that we shall be paid from the money due to Warri Wolves for this season.
“Warri Wolves were paid N22.5m but the LMC didn’t fulfil their promise. Only the current players of the club received match bonuses.
“The 13 players are those whose cases are being handled by a lawyer. We want Warri Wolves to pay N82,507,960.00 being the sum total of all remuneration/fees accruable to the claimants from the contracts entered with the club.
“We’ve contacted our lawyer who wrote the Warri Wolves management, giving them a two-week ultimatum to pay the entitlements but when they didn’t do so, we had to contact the Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC) of FIFA who hopefully will act on this.
“Warri Wolves deserve to be banned from further participating in the the CAF Champions League. And that is a competition we laboured to qualify for in the regular season and in the Super 4, playing most times with empty stomachs,” the seasoned player fondly called ‘Mosquito’ stressed.