An official of the side, Cajetan Nkwopara said Heartland have forwarded a protest to the NFF and LMC over the illegal release of the three players demanding prompt investigation into the matter even as the league officials and committee members have washed their hands off from the illegal release.“All the three played for Heartland last season and were registered with the club for the current season before they were purportedly given one year provisional clearance each to feature for Rangers by the Arbitration Committee.“The claims by the players that they were owed salaries by Heartland are completely false as the club was up to date with players’ wages by January 16, 2015 when the three players last reported for duty after returning from the Christmas break before disappearing from camp.“The only money the club owed some of the old players was the balance of the sign-on fee for the previous season which the players had already agreed in a meeting with the state government would be paid on installment basis after the sign on fee system was scrapped and replaced with enhanced salary package.“Although the committee never invited us to explain our own side of the story but upon a rumour of an impending case at the Arbitration Committee we sent documents to the LMC and committee through the NFF secretariat that showed we have not defaulted in payment of wages to the players.“Enugu Rangers wrote Heartland requesting for the services of Kalu Okagbue, Osas Okoro and Bobby Clement to which we promptly replied asking for negotiation and price proposal but which Rangers are yet to react to.“Instead, Rangers have gone ahead to feature Kalu Okagbue and Osas Okoro in match day 4 and 5 matches of the ongoing league season.“LMC officials have expressed ignorance of the reasons the provisional clearance was based on as the action of the Arbitration Committee did not meet the requirement of the new rules.“Some members of the arbitration committee have equally denied knowledge of the clearance papers issued to the players suggesting the release may have been aided by few committee members,” said Nkwopara to supersport.com.
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