Pelican Stars captain, Hodo Williams, on Friday, begged the government of Cross River State to pay their outstanding 14-month salaries. She explained that after the government promised them to pay the salaries and they expected all to be paid, they were eventually paid just two months leaving other 14 months unpaid.
She narrated the challenges and poor living conditions of the players as a result of the debts.
“I owe people about N50,000 to buy boots, jerseys, foodstuff, and pads. But we were paid just two months salaries out of the 16 months we are owed, I don’t know how to explain that, but I must confess that things are so tough,
“The suffering is much because we used the money we were paid recently to clear some of our debts.”
She also added that the government promised to pay four months, unfortunately, they paid the other two months to a wrong account.
“We were told they wanted to pay us four months’ salaries, but we heard they paid the other two months into a wrong account.”
Previously, when it used to be 10-month unpaid salaries, the players staged a protest in April at U.J Esuene Stadium.
Also, in August, the players blocked the entrance of the Governor’s office as a result of the non-payment of their 14-month salaries.
Some team members also pleaded with the goverment to consider their poor living conditions and pay them the arreas they owed them.
“They should help us and get it done fast because I still have to eat and it means I have to start begging again if we are not paid on time.”
One of the team members who is also an assistant captain, Chinenye Okafor, has been forced to learn a hairdressing trade as a result of her inability to feed herself due to the non-payment.
She also has an issue with her parent who do not support her playing football and have decided not to allow her to come back to Calabar for any football club or match.
“Things have been so tough; that is why I left Calabar for Lagos in June to stay with my parents, and they are the ones now taking care of me.
“I am now in Lagos learning hairdressing. I have tried to convince my parents to allow me to go back to Calabar but they are against me playing football again,” Okafor said.