Players of Kogi State female team, Confluence Queen have threatened to boycott their Nigeria Women Premier League, (NWPL) game against FC Robo if their demands are not met by the Kogi State Government.
This latest threat is coming a few days after their male counterparts, Kogi United protested for a backlog of entitlements and sign-on fees for two seasons. The game between Confluence Queen and FC Robo is scheduled to take place today, Wednesday, at the Lokoja Confluence Stadium by 4 PM.
The players had accused the government of failing to give priority to their welfare as they continue to play their league matches with empty stomachs. The State female team players are calling on the government to pay their match allowances, sign on fee, provide better accommodation, and improve their welfare in the State.
Some of the players, who spoke to us on Wednesday, under the condition of anonymity accused the government of neglecting its own state teams but found solace in outsiders despite their achievement in the State.
We, however, gathered that Confluence Queen who is 11th on the NWPL log has been cash strapped following alleged neglect by the state government. Some of the players who spoke to us said “We are treated here in Confluence Queen as if we are animals. We have been training and preparing with everyday promises that things will get better, but nothing yet, except the government answers us by giving us what we need, no match.
“We’ve not been paid our sign-on fees for two and half seasons, even to play matches is always a problem. Nothing to eat. We are tired of this and we cannot be playing on empty stomachs.
“Our camp is not concussive for living. Recently, our camp got burnt, up till now, no government official has come to check on us, as we lost several of our properties. “Most times, we go out to play matches with empty stomachs. Our team bus is nothing to write home about. We get stranded on the road on a timely basis. Whenever we are playing matches away from home, it is usually hell in a cell.
“The salary we are collecting is not enough to cater for our wellbeing, yet we are not complaining. We came second in the league in 2019 after losing 1:0 to Rivers Angel. “As we speak, nobody has come from this government to say well done for making the state proud. We decided to play football because of the passion we have for the game. We don’t want to engage in the act of selling our bodies because we are women. The government must do something or else there will be a walkover against our team today”.
They called on Governor Yahaya Bello to come to their aid before things got out of hand. It could be recalled that the NWPL matches were postponed last month due to Covid 19 mandatory test for all players in the league.