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Football | Nigeria

Rising Stars players protest



Players of Nigeria National League (NNL) club, Rising Stars have protested against plan to sell the team's space in the nation's second tier of football last week.

The players took their protest to the office of the Ondo State government in Alagbaka, Akure carrying placards with inscriptions kicking against the sale of Rising Stars' slot in the National League by the Ondo State Football Agency (OSFA) chaired by Segun Adagunodo.

It is believed that the OSFA had finalised arrangement to sell the club's NNL slot to Fountain FC, a club based in Ekiti, for N5 million ($32,000).

Ondo State governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, was said to have listened to the protesting players by meeting with four of them inside his office.

Mimiko told the aggrieved players to put their complaint into writing and promised he would treat their matter as a matter of urgency.

"We have protested against the decision of OSFA to sell the club's slot. What would be our future if they sell the slot? Rising Stars is our hope to reach our climax. Moreso, selling it will mean we will be without clubs," one of the aggrieved players said in a message.

"I don't know why Rising Stars is the subject of sale. Sunshine Stars players are earning N650,000 ($4,100) as salary (monthly), while we earn just N25,000 ($160). What is our sin? Where as, we voted for the return of Mimiko, which Sunshine Stars players never did, because they were in Egypt during the election.

"We are indigenes of the state, meanwhile Chief Adagunodo is not an indigene, so he loses nothing by selling the team to a foreigner like him."

The players also claim that they have not been paid signing-on fees for last season.

A fortnight ago, the OSFA declared its intention to put up the club's NNL slot for sale on the instruction of the Ondo State government.

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