Rivers United players shunned training on Tuesday and staged a protest at the Government House, Port Harcourt over the non-payment of their sign on fees for the 2014/2015 season.
It was learnt that Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Woke, approved the payment of the sign-on fee six months ago but the players are concerned with the delay in the payment of the money.
“It’s important that we staged this protest today to gain the attention of the governor on our plight. He gave approval for the money (sign-on fee) to be paid to us six months and we don’t what is delaying it,” one of the players disclosed to Completesportsnigeria. com on the condition of anonymity.
“I see no reason why they have not paid us when the governor has ordered them to do so. We want answers and keeping quiet will not resolve the issue for us.
“The governor has done well by making sure we get our salaries as and when due but we want to beg him to see to it that we get our money.”
Rivers United finished in the 15th position in the Nigeria Professional Football League last season.
Source: Complete Sports Nigeria
Rivers United goalkeeper, Abiodun Akande wants a chance to strut his stuff for Nigeria at senior level and will relish a call-up when the squad for the upcoming African Nations Championships (Chan) qualifiers is announced.
Akande produced a man-of-the-match display as Rivers United lost 1-2 to Moroccan club, FUS Rabat in the Caf Confederation Cup on Friday.
The goalkeeper is now looking to go one better by representing his country at full international level and is targeting a call-up when Nigeria face the winner of the first round qualifying between Togo and the Benin Republic in round two.
“I will love get an invitation to play in the Chan qualifiers but I know I will only have a chance with consistent displays,” Akande told supersport.com.
“There are so many good goalkeepers in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) so I know that competition will be stiff.
“But I am willing to work hard and hopefully, I will get the chance to prove my worth,” he said.
Akande concluded by discussing the ouster of Rivers United from the 2017 Caf Confederation Cup as well as the club’s aspirations for the rest of the season.
“It was painful to lose out the way we did because expectations were quite high.
“To be honest, we made life difficult for ourselves when we lost at home to Club Africain.
“Now, we have to focus on the NPFL and the (Aiteo) Cup and do well in both competitions to make the fans happy,” he said.
Elisha Golbe has expressed his happiness at Plateau United’s goalless draw against Rivers United which cut the gap between them and MFM to just a point in the race for the league title.
He said they came with focused minds and resolve to turn Port Harcourt to a hunting ground and that they were delighted that they achieved their objective even though it meant conceding the top of the league spot to the Olukoya Boys for the mean time.
Golbe hailed the fans at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Port Harcourt for their sportsmanship throughout the encounter while adding that they are going back home to start preparation ahead of their Sunday tie with Wikki Tourists.
Plateau United are now second on the log with 29 points from 16 games after the road draw with MFM defeating Abia Warriors 2-1 in Lagos yesterday to return to the top of the table.
Source: The Nations
Rivers United captain, Festus Austine has apologized to Nigerians over the side’s ouster from the 2017 Caf Champions League.
United surrendered a 3-0 first leg lead in the first round tie to crash out on a 4-3 aggregate after suffering a 0-4 reverse to Sudanese club, Al-Merrikh in Omdurman.
The visibly crest-fallen Austine was at a loss to explain the loss as he pondered what might have been.
“The result was a big setback,” Austine told supersport.com.
“I never expected us to lose 0-4 to Al-Merrikh but then this is football.
“We tried to win or at least get a result that would see us progress but it was not to be.
“I am not happy about the result but we cannot change it now and we just have to focus on the next game.
“We owe Nigerians an apology because they expected much from us.
“We have to go back to the drawing board and learn from our mistakes,” he said.
Al-Merrikh have now progressed to the group stage of the Caf Champions League while Rivers United drops to Africa’s second-tier club competition, the Caf Confederation Cup.
A first-half penalty goal by Wasiu Jimoh gave home team Shooting Stars all three points against Rivers United in a Nigeria league match on Saturday.
Rivers United defender Ofem Inah was sent off for a professional foul which led to the penalty from which Shooting Stars won the game.
Shooting Stars have now toppled Rivers United to eighth place on the table with nine points from five matches.
Former Nigeria U20 forward has now netted four goals this season.
Port Harcourt club Rivers United are now yet to win a point on their away travels this season.