By Olajide Idowu
Osogbo – The Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Osun State Chapter, has condemned the suspension of salaries of players and staff of the state-owned football clubs, Osun United and Osun Babes.
The association expressed its feelings in a statement signed by the Acting Chairman, Tope Alabi and the Secretary, Timothy Agbor respectively, after its Executive Council meeting on Saturday in Osogbo.
“The decision to stop the salaries of the clubs’ players and staff, as well as salaries of contract coaches and athletes by the state government did not follow due process,” the association said.
It described the state government’s decision to stop the salaries without any formal notification by the management of the club as a breach of contract punishable under FIFA rules.
According to SWAN, the state government stopped the salaries of the players, staff, coaches and athletes as a result of the suspension of sports in the country due to Coronavirus (COVID-19).
“Our position is that this decision is not acceptable because it will further compound the woes of these football players, coaches and athletes during this trying times.
“Also, since these players’ contracts are still active, it is not proper to stop or suspend their salaries until they serve out their contracts with the clubs.
“Therefore, this abrupt salary stoppage without mutual consent connotes a breach of contractual agreement and it is punishable under the football law,” it stated.
The association however appealed to the Governor of the state, Gboyega Oyetola, to consider lifting the suspension of payment of salaries to the affected sportsmen and women.
Spokesperon for Osun Sports Council, Mrs Funmilayo Moradeyo, had in a statement on Wednesday said government directed the stoppage of the salaries of the players staff, contract coaches and athletes.
Moradeyo quoted the state Commissioner for Youth, Sports and Special Needs, Mr Yemi Lawal, as saying that the suspension would be lifted or overturned when “normalcy returned.”