Heartland, Rangers tango over players | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Heartland, Rangers tango over players

Posted: Apr 27, 2015 at 12:02 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Steve Oma-Ofozor, Snr. Correspondent, Lagos

Heartland has petitioned the Nigeria Football Federation and the  League Management Company over the release of three of its players toRangers.

The players are, Orji Kalu Okagbue, Osas Okoro and Bobby Clement.

Heartland’s Media Officer, Cajetan Nkwoppara, said the Arbitration Committee released the players without the consent of Heartland or LMC.

Nkwopara said Heartland has asked the NFF and LMC to investigate the matter. But the league officials and the committee members have washed their hands off the deal.

Nkwopara added that tHeartland would consider legal option to ensure justice was done in order to protect the interest of the club and the league.

“All the three played for Heartland last season and were registered with the club for the current season before they were purportedly given one year provisional clearance each to feature for Rangers by the Arbitration Committee,” said Nkwopora.

“The claims by the players that they were owed salaries by Heartland are completely false as the club was up to date with players’ wages by January 16, 2015 when the three players last reported for duty after returning from the Christmas break before disappearing from camp.

“The only money the club owed some of the old players was the balance of the sign-on fee for the previous season which the players had already agreed in a meeting with the state government would be paid on installment basis after the sign on fee system was scrapped and replaced with enhanced salary package.

“Although the committee never invited us to explain our own side of the story, but upon a rumour of an impending case at the Arbitration Committee we sent documents to the LMC and committee through the NFF secretariat that showed we have not defaulted in the payment of the players’ wages.

He admitted that Rangers requested for the services of Kalu Okagbue, Osas Okoro and Bobby Clement. He said Heartland asked for negotiation and price proposal, but Rangers was yet to reply.

“Instead, Rangers has gone ahead to feature Kalu Okagbue and Osas Okoro in match day 4 and 5 matches of the ongoing league season.

“LMC officials have expressed ignorance of the reasons the provisional clearance was based on as the action of the Arbitration Committee did not meet the requirement of the new rules.

“Some members of the arbitration committee have equally denied knowledge of the clearance papers issued to the players suggesting the release may have been aided by few committee members,” said Nkwopara.