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Soccer News of Sunday, 24 April 2022


Heartland players locked out of hotel over N7m owed bills

Things turned from bad to worse for players of relegation-threatened Nigeria Professional Football League side Heartland FC on Saturday after they were locked out of their Down Town Hotel rooms in Owerri, the Imo State capital over unpaid N700,000 bills.

The management of the hotel, which is located at MCC- Uratta Road in Owerri,  insisted that the players would not leave for Kaduna ahead of Sunday’s (today) NPFL encounter with Wikki Tourists until they settled their debt.

The manager of the hotel, Emma Oparanozie, told our correspondent, “They will not be allowed to go to their rooms to take their belongings until they pay me my money.”He said the players of the struggling Imo State-owned club had lodged in the hotel for over one month with their management not paying a dime.

The enraged hotel manager added, “They owe me over N700,000. I have been feeding them for over a month now. They should pay me and leave. I don’t even want them here again. They want to leave for Kaduna today (Saturday) but that will not happen until they give me my money.“

The General Manager of the club was here asking me to allow the players to leave for Kaduna but I said ‘no.’ They must pay me first. This is what they did to me last year. As I speak to you, Heartland Queens owe me N1.6m for accommodations and feeding. They should ask the state government to give me my money. I don’t want them again.”

When contacted, the spokesperson for the club, Solomon Onu, said the issue would be settled.

Onu said, “I am not aware of the development but if there is any issue it will be settled because the owner of the hotel is a football enthusiast and member of Heartland FC family.”Heartland are currently 18th in the 20-team NPFL with 23 points after 24 matches.The players had earlier protested over several months of nonpayment of their salaries and allowances.