Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) have been caught up in a war of words with the brother of their late player Izu Joseph over his entitlements owed by the club.
Izu was killed by soldiers in October 2016 while he was on holiday in his home town of Okarki in Bayelsa State and he was reportedly being owed eight months’ salary and allowances before his death.
According to the Nigeria National League (NNL) club, the total money owed is N2.3m but his family members claim the entitlements amount to over N3m.
His brother Izu Reuben has been at war with the club over the refusal to pay the money owed prompting his petition to the Oyo State Government.
In swift response to the petition, a club statement signed by their spokesman, Jubril Arowolo, denied the late player’s brother and that the club had been crediting their father’s bank account as instructed by the family.
The statement read: ““While we acknowledge that the club was owing the late player, it is very pertinent to put the record straight that hardly would a month pass without the club paying into the account of Pa Joseph Izu, the father of the deceased, as requested by the family in the last six months.
“This act did not go down well with the said Reuben, who wanted the payments in his account instead, a situation currently causing frictions within the family. We have refused to take issue with Mr. Reuben Izu as a mark of respect for the late player but this reaction is necessary in order to put a stop to the mischievous manner in which the man is going about the issue.”
“On our part, we are committed to offsetting the outstanding salary and this position was acknowledged by an official of the National Association of Nigerian Professional Footballers, Mr. Austin Popo, during his visit to our office last Friday.” the statement further added.
Reuben has however reacted to the club statement in a chat with the Punch. He said the club is not revealing the truth and that they only paid for two months.
He said: “It is really unfortunate that a well-respected club like Shooting Stars can resort to cheap blackmail because of the petition I wrote to the government and the Oyo State House of Assembly. The letter was meant to ensure that we get their assistance in getting justice for my late brother while imploring them to offset the debt so that we can cater for late Joseph’s daughter.”
“I have never requested that the money be paid into my account and their claims of paying for six months is a lie. They only paid N300,000, which was done in two months. We have called them to give us a breakdown of late Joseph’s salary and allowances as well as his bonuses, but they haven’t done that.”
“Their blackmail won’t stop me or the family.” Izu Reuben concluded.