Friday, April 14, 2017

Rangers players in cash row, miss flight to Zambia


Ihuoma Chiedozie, Enugu

Fresh crisis hit Nigerian champions Rangers on Thursday as the players refused to travel to Zambia for their return leg CAF Confederation Cup clash against Zesco United in Ndola on Saturday unless they were paid their allowances.

Our correspondent learnt that the players insisted that they must be paid before embarking on the trip.

The development forced the team, who face a huge task to reach the group stages of the continental tournament following their 2-2 draw against Zesco in Enugu on Sunday, to miss their flight from Enugu to Lusaka on Thursday afternoon.

But the management of the Enugu State-owned side said they would pay the players their allowances in Zambia.

There were concerns in the Coal City on Thursday that the team might not be able to make the trip on Friday.

The incident was said to have embarrassed the management of the team rooted to the bottom of the Premier League table following a series of bad results. The development forced the club to sack coach Imama Amapakabo on Monday - after the team's 2-2 draw against Zesco.

Efforts by the management, led by Christian Chukwu, to persuade the players to embark on the trip were unsuccessful as they insisted on having their money before departing the country for Zambia.

The players eventually had their way later on Thursday evening when their allowances were given to them at the airport.

However, by the time the matter was settled, the plane had already left for Lusaka.

Spokesman for the club, Mr. Forster Chime, told our correspondent on Thursday evening that the team would now leave for Zambia on Friday.

"We rescheduled our flight, we will travel tomorrow (Friday)," he told our correspondent on the telephone.

" They (players) wanted their allowances to be paid before travelling but they were supposed to be paid when they get there (Zambia).

"When the players refused to travel, the government was contacted and they were paid.

"At the moment the players and the coaching staff have been paid.

"But due to the delay, they missed their flight and they will now travel tomorrow (Friday)."

"The situation has been resolved, everything is normal now."