Players of Nigerian National League side Papilo FC, a pet club of African football legend Nwankwo Kanu, have threatened to boycott their next league game over unpaid salaries.
Papilo FC, a derivative of Kanu’s nickname, Papilo are campaigning in Nigeria’s second tier football division where they currently are four points above the drop zone following a 0-0 draw at home to Ikorodu United on Sunday.
According to sources close to the club, players of the team refused to come out for training on Monday and Tuesday as they press home their demands for salary arrears of up to seven months.
Aclsports.com’s further checks at the Owerri-based club reveal that club President, Nwankwo Kanu has insisted he is not indebted to the players as he has no such agreement in place with them.
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The club chairman Okereke Ikaychukwu however dismissed such notion and held a meeting with the players on Tuesday morning.
“It is a natural phenomenon in football for players to agitate for one or two things and it is our duty to listen to them and solve the problem which we did this morning,” Ikaychukwu told www.aclsports.com after Tuesday’s meeting. What they are agitating for is an increase in feeding money and other little incentives. We had a round table discussion and they have agreed to return to training this (Tuesday) evening,” he added further.
On the contrary though, the players refused to agree to whatever resolutions their chairman brought and have stayed away from training up till Wednesday afternoon with just three of them seen at the training ground on Wednesday morning.
Two of Papilo FC players (who would not want their names in the media) confirmed their “no pay, no work” stance in a chat with www.aclsports.com and insist they will continue for as long as possible until they are fully paid.
Happenings at the Papilo camp will be sweet music to the ears of NNL Southern Conference leaders, Heartland who they next face in an Owerri derby on Sunday.
Heartland (former Iwuanyawu Nationale, Kanu’s former club as a player) are now five points clear at the top of their conference table after a 0-0 draw at Unicem Rovers on Monday. They drew against Papilo in the reverse fixture with Kanu’s club the home team although they both share the Dan Anyiam Stadium.