NPFL: Heartland FC players, officials land in Kaduna after end to five-day-old strike


Heartland FC players and officials finally left Owerri at 4:10 pm on Friday and arrived Kaduna on Saturday after some of the players received two months salary arrears ahead of today’s NPFL tie versus Kano Pillars.

There were assurances from the representatives of the sponsors of the team that others that were not paid on Friday will receive alerts before the start of their game with Kano Pillars. No officials including the coaches got any alerts.

The Naze Millionaires passed the night at Enugu and continued their journey to Kaduna to ensure they arrive before Saturday nightfalls as they strive to salvage something at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna against rejuvenated Sai Masu Gida.

Heartland players did not have any team training sessions at all due to the industrial strike but information from different sources opined that the players were involved in individual sessions to keep fit as they continued the pursuance of the payment of their unpaid wages including match bonuses. was reliably informed that the players agreed to end the five-day-old strike after a meeting with the Speaker, Chiji Collins and Deputy Speaker, Amara Chyna Iwuanyanwu, of the Imo House of Assembly and a few other government officials. It was at the said meeting the players were told that two months’ salaries had been approved out of their arrears. Some of players were paid the agreed sum some moments after the closed doors meeting.

The source stressed that the players initially vowed not to go anywhere until they were

paid all their entitlements but sanity prevailed when they were assured that the rest of their unpaid emolument would be paid before long. It was then they hesitant agreed to embark on the trip even though only a few of them had received alerts as of Friday afternoon.

The team then proceeded for the weekend league game against in-form Kano Pillars after top officials of the team failed to convince the League Management Company (LMC) to have the game postponed by a few days to allow the team make up for lost time because of some discrepancies in their appeal. can confirmed that Heartland arrived Kaduna around 10:00 pm Saturday night after their vehicle developed some mechanical faults and had to be fixed. The players and accompanying officials including coaches arrived in Kaduna with swollen legs and fatigue but they have vowed to look beyond their challenges ahead of the tie.

Because they failed to arrive in Kaduna on time on Saturday, the team was unable to train at all at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium and their only feel of the turf will now be during their warm-up before the start of the game.

Heartland FC are unbeaten in the past four games since their 2-0 defeat to Enugu Rangers last month but three of the four games had ended in draws with the 2-0 home over Wikki Tourists the only exception.

They are 11th on the league table with 23 points from 17 games. Kano Pillars their weekend foes are third on the log with 30 points from the same number of games.


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