The ouster of the Nigeria CAF representative, Dolphins of Port Harcourt in the continental championship in the African clubs competition is caused by the Rivers State government.
The Rivers State government is the sole sponsor of the Port Harcourt Nigeria premier league champions. Due to Dolphins status of winning the Nigerian league, the club was given the mandate to represent the country. This calls for Rivers State to be on guard as to see the club excel in the championship at the continental level.
This means giving the players their due allowances, salaries, added with motivational incentives. This is what the Rivers State government failed to do.
Worse still, the Port Harcourt heroes were neglected to fend for themselves even as they have some pressing personal needs to take care of. These players play football for their livelihood, to keep body and soul together.
Will a player play well to become a winner on empty stomach? What of his dependants, most especially those who are married? How do they provide for their wives and children when their salaries, match bonuses and allowances are not paid them as when due?
Before Conton Sport Garoua visited Port Harcourt, the players were on strike in agitation of their unpaid salaries, match bonuses and allowances; it took high powered recognized delegation to pacify the players to reluctantly prosecute that match. From that first leg, the future of Dolphins was cast.
To say the least, the whole championship for Dolphins at the continental level was over from the first leg here in Port Harcourt.
It is so painful to both fans and good football lovers that their darling Dolphins will no longer play the continental matches in the most dramatic way, because the boys were neglected to face hardship while still representing the state and the entire Nigeria.
The Rivers State government did not really pay the attention the players needed for them to be in happy mood to destabilize any of the sides that they will meet in the championship.
The players’ minds were not prepared by their sponsor. This started when they won the Nigeria premier league. They were not well welcomed back home. The car gift (reward) promised them were delayed. As at the time of filing in this report, the players have not been given their cars, though the sports commissioner promised that the cars will be given to the players within the week.
The players are human beings. Some of the players that made the victory possible are now in other clubs to prosecute the ongoing NPL instead of defending the championship title they won in Dolphins colours.
So sad that Dolphins were knocked out because of the neglect on the part of her sponsor. ###