Players from Nigeria’s women’s football club, Pelican Stars of Cross River state, embarked on a protest outside Government house over salaries that they say have not been paid for 10 months, Completesports.com reports.
According to BBC Sport Africa, the protest which held for up to five hours, took place on Monday and Wednesday.
The players insist that the lack of payment is discriminatory as their salary backlog of at least N60,000 per month dates as far back as June 2019, when salaries for April to June was paid to them just before they went on their 2019 Christmas break.
One of the team’s player who spoke to BBC Sport Africa under anonymity said: “It has really been a big shock for us, maltreating the female team in Cross River like this.
“We got relegated three years ago in the 2017/2018 league, so we played pro league last season to qualify for the premier league.
“Unfortunately, to date, we have had nothing – our bonuses, our allowances from last season – and no news about anything, or hope coming forward for it.
“That is the reason why we have to take this bold step to go the government house.
“It’s like Pelican Stars is dead – or maybe the state governor does not want the team anymore.
“We don’t know. We just want to get information. Maybe, if he wants the team, fine. If he doesn’t want the team, we should go home.
“And we are hungry.”
However, Pelican Stars chairman Sam Kombor, told BBC Sport Africa that the players have been owed eight months of salary, instead of 10, as their backlog dates from August 2019.
“If we knew that placard they wrote 10 months, we would have corrected them,” he said.
“I am the chairman of the club. They are also owing me, but the truth remains that it is eight months from August 2019.
“We will pay and are hoping all things being equal, probably towards the end of next week because we run subvention and it is from that subvention that we pay salaries. So that subvention was not released to the club that is why we owe.
“The commissioner said there was a fiscal error, a misunderstanding.”
And according to the State’s Commissioner for Sport, Offa Aya, the state’s male professional teams, such as UNICEM Rovers, have been paid, but said that this was due to some private individuals helping out with donations.
“How will we discriminate against our daughters? We are going to pay them.
“We asked them to exercise a little patience – they were not the only ones involved.
“There were other clubs, like Ayade Babes and Canaan Table Tennis, whose payments were settled last – they wouldn’t allow us to arrange the account to start paying, then they went on to protest.
“There are private individuals who have adopted some these clubs, like UNICEM Rovers, but for the Pelican Stars, we are still begging for people to assist us.”
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