Three former players of Warri Wolves Football Club on Sunday in Umuahia confronted the club’s General Manager, Moses Etu, to demand for the payment of outstanding sign-on fees and match allowances.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN ) learnt that the players — Ikechukwu Ibenegbu, Abdul Aziz and Joseph Osadiaye — are now with Enyimba International FC of Aba.
But they were still owed by Warri Wolves, who were in Umuahia on Sunday for a rescheduled 2015/2016 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) fixture against the Aba side.
Trouble started at the Umuahia Township Stadium at the end of the Week 20 match when Ibenegbu accosted Etu during the post-match interview, demanding to be paid his money.
“Where is my money? You must pay me my money today,” he shouted, looking ready for a complete showdown with Etu.
“I do not owe you. It is Warri Wolves that owe you,” Etu had retorted, while making efforts to stave off the attack.
The situation later snowballed into a free-for -all as other players, including Aziz and Osadiaye, joined the fray.
The Chairman of Enyimba International, Felix Anyansi-Agwu, and men of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), had a hectic time trying to bring the situation under control.
At the end of the melee, Etu could not be reached for his reaction, but the club’s Media Officer, Azuka Chiemeka, admitted that the players were owed by Warri Wolves.
However, in an interview with NAN, Chiemeka said owing players was not peculiar to Warri Wolves, describing it as a national phenomenon.
“It’s everywhere in the Nigerian league. You do owe players and it is quite unfortunate the way players go about it. You don’t turn it into a personal issue,” Chiemeka said.
He decried the manhandling of the club’s general manager, describing it as “unethical and unprofessional’’.
The club spokesman said it was the Warri Wolves FC management and Delta state government who were owing the former players and not Etu as an individual.
He denied the allegation that the money owed the players had been released but diverted by Etu, saying “(Warri Wolves) management has not received a dime’’.
Chiemeka however expressed fears that the attack on Etu could have an effect on what would happen by the time Enyimba would be in Warri in the league’s second round.
“It can bring about a retaliatory measure on the players involved, if Enyimba fail to apologise to us,’’ he said.
NAN reports that the match on Sunday ended 2-1 in favour of hosts Enyimba International.
Christian Pyagbara and Andrew Abalogu scored in the first and 78th minutes respectively for Enyimba, while Shedrack Oghali scored Warri Wolves’ lone goal in the 44th minute.(NAN)