Niger State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello has allegedly abandoned the best handball club in Sub Saharan African Niger United.
Niger United won the 1986 African Handball Cup Winners’ Cup in Cotonou, finished second at the 1987, 1989 and 2001 African Handball Champions League.
Due to lack of motivation from Niger state government, there was mass exodus of players from the Minna based team to Sokoto Rima. The former Niger United players left the team due to lack of motivation, low income and nonchalant attitude on the part of government.
www.aclsports.com gathered that Niger United players were not hosted by the state government after winning the maiden edition of the Prudent Energy Handball League in Lagos.
A former Niger United player who spoke on the condition of anonymity told www.aclsports.com that allowances of the players range from 5,000 to 19,000.
He revealed that the governor focuses solely on hockey abandoning other sports in the state.
He said “The reason why Niger United is facing trying times is because the government led by Abubakar Bello neglected handball in the state. It is on record that Niger United is the biggest handball club in Nigeria. Niger United won the African Handball Cup Winners’ Cup and finished second on few occasions.
“It will shock you that only 4 players are staff of the sports council out of 19 players in the league. The remaining players are on monthly allowances; some of these players receive between N5,000 to N19,000. How can you tell people that players that represented Nigeria at the African Nations Cup, African Games, Olympic Qualifiers and many other international championships that your salary at the club side is less than 50 dollars?
“When we were approached by Sokoto Rima, our basic salary is three times better than our deal at Niger United; that is why most of us left for Sokoto”.
“The governor in his wisdom decided not to give attention to Niger United and you can see what they are passing through. Since the creation of Niger United, they have not lost scandalously like they did during the 2020 Prudent Energy Handball League. I expect the management of Niger State Sports Council, the ministry of sports and the state governor to call for an emergency meeting to chart the way forward. It is a big disgrace that Niger United lost six straight matches in a competition”.
Niger United Handball Club recorded their 7th defeat at the ongoing Prudent Energy Handball League on Sunday.
Efforts to speak with the current players and coaches of Niger United proved abortive as they declined speaking with this reporter on the telephone.