Players of Nigerian champions Enugu Rangers have called off their threat of refusing to travel to Ndola, Zambia for their Caf Confederation Cup playoff match against Zesco United billed to hold this Sunday.
According to Super Sports, the players had made it clear on Thursday that they would not board their Ethiopian flight to the Southern African country for the second leg of their game without being paid their travelling allowances, or “estacodes” as some of the playing personnel prefer to call it.
The playing personnel of the Nigerian champions were demanding payment of their travelling allowances of around $770 (about N293,000) each before leaving the country for Ndola for fear of the club reneging on paying the money should they fail to progress into the group stage of the Caf Confederation Cup.
However, it has been informed that the players demanded to be paid in cash after which they hurried to their respective banks to lodge in their allowances before the usual 4pm closing (local) time of financial institutions in the country.
Spokesman of the club, Foster Chime, confirmed that the team had failed to travel on Thursday after missing their flight planned for Thursday, adding that “the players have been paid.”
Chime also stated that none of the backroom staff left the original flight as the Rangers management believes travelling in batches does not augur well for team unity.
“The players have been paid, and they have gone to their banks to pay in the money because tomorrow (being Good Friday before the Easter holidays) and Monday are public holidays. It is not true that any of the coaching crew or officials went the initial flight. I am here with the GM (general manager Christian Chukwu) and other officials at the airport (in Enugu) to make arrange for our flights.
“We will travel tomorrow via Lagos. The team will travel together to Zambia,” confirmed Chime.
Rangers blew a two-goal lead in the first meeting with the five-time Zambian champions Zesco United in a game that ended 2-2 at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium in Enugu last Sunday.
The Nigerian champions travel without suspended head coach Imama Amapakabo.