Sports: Shooting Stars’ players embarks on indefinite strike.
The players, who are being owed salaries, allowances and match bonuses by the management, stayed away from their training ground at Lekan Salami Stadium in Ibadan on Tuesday.
The team is scheduled to depart Ibadan today for Lokoja to face Niger Tornadoes in Sunday’s Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) matchday 38 clash at the Confluence Stadium in Lokoja.
It was said that the players are insisting on being paid all their entitlements before returning to the pitch for the match at Niger Tornadoes.
“The players said pointedly that they are fighting for their right to be paid salaries, allowances and match bonuses. “They are insisting on not calling off the strike or returning to the training ground until every indebtedness owed to them is fully paid by the management.
“They feared that the management will not pay the outstanding entitlements once the on-going league season comes to an end on Sunday. “They appeared not to trust the management any longer as previous promises to off-set the bills have gone unheeded.
“They reasoned that if the management value their welfare and the interest of the team they could even break bank to pay knowing fully well that anything short of three points at Niger Tornadoes will spell doom for the team,” the source said.
An unnamed member of the coaching crew said though the players have the right to demand for their salaries, they should be considering the precarious state of the team on the top-flight log.
“The players are right to demand for the payment of their entitlements but the method, timing and state of the team should be put into consideration. “I think there is always a better way to fight for one’s legitimate right especially when it comes to salaries.
“Of course, we will always insist that the players should be well-motivated at all times so that they can give us their very best and make our job a bit easier.
“Right now the players are putting the coaches and team into a very tight corner knowing the daunting task on our hands. “God forbid the players failed to have a change of mind to train and we failed to get the desired result against Niger Tornadoes in Lokoja on Sunday the team will be doomed.
“Already, we have wasted precious time to have trained adequately for the expected difficult match at Niger Tornadoes. “We hope to travel to Lokoja on Thursday but what quality of team are we going to confront the lions in their den.
“The whole exercise is an ill wind that blows nobody any good and I pray that reason will prevail so that we can still move fast to cover lost ground to prepare to face the Minna side.
The Ibadan landlords are 16th on the 20-team top-flight log on 50 points, 13 behind leaders, Plateau United and may go down on relegation if they failed to get a decent result at Niger Tornadoes.
(Edited By Olamide Michael)