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TUC threatens to picket league match venues over players’ salaries

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) says it will picket venues of Nigerian league match over the failure of some clubs to pay the salaries and allowances of its players.

Austin Popo, General Secretary, Association of Professional Footballers of Nigeria (APFON), disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Saturday.

According to him, the picketing would begin on April 25 and would be carried out at match venues nationwide.

“Since letters and appeals to the clubs and the League Management Company (LMC), on the debts, have yielded no positive result, we have decided to embark on picketing.

“The failure to pay the salaries cuts across clubs and divisions; but because of the clubs that were involved in continental matches, the LMC had to plead with the Union to allow the clubs to resolve the matter.

“We conceded to that plea, but unfortunately, nothing has been done. So we have no choice than to act.

“As I speak with you, TUC national headquarters, led by the President, has directed all the state councils to forward the letters they wrote to the clubs that are involved.

“The clubs are being asked to pay up on or before April 25, otherwise their next home match venues will be picketed,” he said.

Popo said that clubs have also been mandated to provide a copy of the players’ contract papers after it was discovered that less than five per cent of players in the domestic leagues had contracts.

He said that TUC have written to the clubs because part of the agreement is that a player must have a copy of his contract before the club is allowed to field him.

The APFON scribe said that TUC decided to clampdown on the clubs following an authorisation letter signed by Mohammed Sanusi, NFF General-Secretary, and made available to the league’s administrators before the commencement of the season.

He assured players plying their trade in the domestic league that their entitlements would be recovered, saying that APFON and TUC would not soften their resolve on that.

NAN reports that TUC President, Bobboi Kaigama, had in February decried the attitude of state governments and private club owners toward the payment of footballers’ entitlements.

Kaigama had warned that TUC would no longer tolerate the situation where professional footballers were owed salaries and allowances, beginning from the ongoing 2015/2016 league season.


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