Monday, February 5, 2018 10:15 pm
Ondo State Commissioner for Sports and Youth Development, Saka Yusuf-Ogunleye, says the past management of Ondo State Football Agency (ODSFA) was responsible for the present predicament of Sunshine Stars Football Club.
Yusuf-Ogunleye, while reacting to the decision of the League Management Company (LMC) to sanction Sunshine Stars FC, said on Monday in Akure that the club was in huge debt.
“The club is owing the club’s players and coaches, as well as management staff of the agency, more than N400 million,’’ he said, pointing out that this led to LMC’s decision not to allow the club use its newly-signed players in the 2017/2018 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that LMC imposed the sanction in a letter addressed to the club management over several litigations it was involved in.
Several of the club’s past players and coaches had dragged the club, and ODSFA by extension, to court and other judicial bodies over the non-payment of sign-on fees, salaries and allowances.
The new sanction imposed on the club took its toll on the Akure-based side on Sunday.
The club crashed 0-5 to hosts Plateau United FC in an NPFL Match Day 7 fixture in Jos.
Yusuf-Ogunleye said efforts by the club management to address the issues before Sunday failed because the LMC Chairman, Shehu Dikko, was away in Morocco for the 2018 CHAN final match.
“The ODSFA Chairman informed me that LMC has de-registered our newly-signed players, after several litigations against the agency as part of debts owed the players, coaches and individual partners of the club.
“We have already set up a three-man committee to ensure that the agency is restructured in line with the professional ways of running football,” he said.
The commissioner also said it was regrettable that the last administration increased salaries of players and coaches in an abnormal way after it had lost elections.
Yusuf-Ogunleye said the current administration in the state would continue to obey the rules and regulations guiding the game of football.
He however said the current administration in the state had paid off the nine-month salary arrears being owed Ondo State Sports Council’s athletes.