Sacked players battle Shooting Stars over unpaid salaries

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The 20 players sacked by Shooting Stars have said they will report the club to the National Association of Nigeria Professional Footballers over the failure of the outfit to pay their two months’ salaries.

The Ibadan club in October sacked 20 players and retained 20 after they were relegated from the Premier League to the Nigeria National League at the end of last season. Wasiu Jimoh, Junior Merenini, Suraju Sadiq, Abu Azeez and Tolulope Olaifa are among the players fired by 3SC.

Our correspondent learnt that the club allegedly paid the salaries of the players retained while they did not pay those they sacked. One of the players, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “It was surprising when we heard that the players retained were paid their two months’ salaries while we were left out of the payment.

“Shooting Stars are owing us July and August salaries and we expected that the money would come along with those who have been paid but that didn’t happen. We contacted the team manager and some other officials of the club about our salaries but we were told to wait.

“Our fear is that we might not get our money from the club. We have told them that we will report the matter to the players’ union and we expect the union to assist us.”

However, the Secretary-General for the players’ body, Austin Popo, told our correspondent that NANPF had yet to receive any complaints from the players.

“We have already told all players who were not paid after being sacked by their clubs to come to us with their contract details. We will ensure that they get their entitlements. The clubs have to pay them after sacking them,” he said.

However, spokesman for Shooting Stars, Jubril Arowolo, told our correspondent on the telephone that the players would be paid.

He said, “We acknowledge that we are owing the players but they will be paid when money is available. The players are being paid in batches and I can confirm that some of the sacked players were paid for a month before they were asked to leave.

“Not all of them are being owed two months’ salaries but those who have not been paid will be paid as money comes in.”

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