-No Top Goal Scorer Contender Can Feign Injury- Martins
By Denen Achussah
Lobi Stars FC trio of Ebube Duru, John Lazarus and Ossy Martins have expressed shock over their suspension by the club.
On Thursday, 29th July, 2021, the club in a statement issued by Austin Tyowua announced the suspension of the trio.
The club in the statement accused Duru of “insubordination and sabotage, having been exerting negative influence on his team mates” while the duo of Lazarus and Martins are accused of “sabotage” by feigning injuries.
However, the affected players who took turns to speak with sport journalists in Makurdi expressed shock over the allegations.
Martins said he felt bad when he was handed his suspension letter. “They’ve closed the door against me to compete for the highest goal scorer,” Martins said, adding that in spite his injury, he was giving his all for the club.
“Which player will be at the verge of winning top scorer award and feign injuries?” Martins asked.
Duru is in his fourth season at the Makurdi side. And he said within this time, no one had cause to complain of his conduct on and off field but now when he was down with Malaria. And that in spite his condition, he travelled with the team to Owerri for Aiteo Cup, only for his condition to be worsened after the encounter, forcing him out of the Katsina United clash.
Duru said he was treated at the club’s clinic and in spite his condition did not improve, the Club Vice Chairman insisted he must travel to Katsina for the week 33 encounter.
“I did not travel with the team because of my condition,” Duru said adding that he was surprised and shocked that management came up with allegations of insurbordination, sabotage and feigning of injuries.
According to Duru, his head coach is aware of his illness. He added that he has turned down bigger offers from other clubs because Lobi Stars FC has given him the platform and was committed to renewing his contract when the suspension came.
He wondered how he would be accused of exerting negative influence when he has been playing all games for the club.
“I’ve the privilege of wearing captain arm band in some games. And if for several seasons I’ve played for this club why should it be now when the season is about to close that they are bringing up these allegations? Or is it that I didn’t go to Katsina that I was not well? My team mates can testify if I am a negative influence,” Duru concluded.
It is ironic that Lazarus was issued his suspension letter two days after running his contract at the Makurdi side. He was served the suspension notice on 28th July, while his contract with the club ended on 26th July.
According to Lazarus, he picked hamstring injury during their game against Jigawa United. He noted that the Vice Chairman allowed him the liberty to seek best medical care and as such, he contacted his manager to arrange his treatment.
“The team doctor, head coach and the backroom staff are aware that I had a muscle tear,” Lazarus told reporters.
They respectively said they were asked by the Club Vice Chairman to play even when nursing injuries and illness.
The trio paid growing tribute to the fans of the Makurdi side, describing them as “very amazing people.”
Duru specifically said: “I came here as a young player. The fans are among the reasons I’ve stayed back to this day.
“I know they are always standing for me. I appreciate them and thank them for the time I’ve been with them and the love.”
It is learnt that rather than pay match bonuses as a motivating factor, the current management has “placed The Technical Adviser, Coach Kabiru Dogo and his assistants on half salary and a two match pay cut ultimatum to the players.”
It was Austin Tyowua, who disclosed the decision as communicated by club Vice Chairman, Emmanuel Tama.
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