***Embarks on strike
Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State and some of hisnappointtees openly celebrate foreign clubs they supports. The governor specifically never hide his love for Chelsea Football club..
But back at home, the state owned teams are struggling for survival, and the governor never bothered about their existence.
Vanguard gathered that the state male football club, Kogi United for more than one week have been on strike. Though they report for training, but the players refused to train.
A source frim the team who spoke to Vanguard on ground of anonymity said, “It is worrisome to know that for the past three seasons, both Kogi United and Confluence Queens have not been paid their sign-on-fees and allowances.
“Both clubs, for the first time since their establishment made it to the finals of their various leagues (Kogi United reached the playoff stage of the NNL in 2018 while Confluence Queens ended as runners up in the 2019 Nigeria Women Premier League), but in both occasions, the clubs did not have any support from the government in terms of representation and motivation.
“Apart from the salaries, both state owned football clubs have not received a dime from the government for their day to day running.
“Imagine a state owned clubs going cap in hand for funds before going for training and honoring a league match.
“It is embarrassing to know that Confluence Queens did not have a major preseason programs before starting the ongoing women league.
“That’s why for Kogi United, the boys have not trained for weeks in protest of their back log of allowances and remunerations owed by the state government.”
The source said since 2019, the two teams have been sharing one coaster bus to go to training and traveling for league games, “Unfortunately, their only means of transportation is now begging for attention as it usually developed faults each time they honor away matches.
“Imaging our surprised when on Monday, the governor even went further to invite Super Eagles’ captain, Ahmed Musa to the state and organized a reception for him whereas he, or any of his political appointees, has not visited the teams owned by the state since he assumed office in 2016.”
The source said most of the state players, plying their trade at the Professional footballers top tiers division have resorted to begging for foods, recharge cards for survival.
“Many of these players who are breadwinners of their families and being owed for such backlog of entitlements. This has further put their families in great challenge.”
It was gathered further that even the State Sports Council is in the shadow of itself. The council is seriously short of human power after many of the staff have retired and some have died.
The council is also begging for training infrastructure which is making her best talents to be poached by other states who valued sport.