By Nicholas Obisike
Players of Rangers International refused today to board an Ethiopian airline flight to Zambia, where they are scheduled to play the second leg of the Confederation Cup.
The players were protesting the non-payment of their travelling allowances.
The incident happened at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu.
A News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent who was at the Airport reports that trouble started when the players were told by management of the team that they will receive their allowance when they return to Nigeria.
The information made the players to revolt and insist that they were not going to honour the match, unless they were paid.
Some of the players said that the management still owed them the match allowance due them when they met JS Suoara of Algeria in February.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that the match against JS Souara was played in February 2017 and the first leg ended 1-1 draw in Algeria with 0-0 draw in Enugu.
All efforts by the General Manager/CEO of the club, Christian Chukwu and the Team manager, Amaobi Ezeaku, to convince the players to embark on the journey fell on deaf ears.
The management was convinced that the players meant business when they jumped into their respective vehicles and left the Airport.
However, on receiving information about the protest, the state Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Charles Ndukwe drew the attention of the governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, who immediately released fund for the settlement of the allowances.
But his intervention came late. The players could not make the flight as the plane had departed.
The development forced the management to shift the journey till tomorrow Friday, when the 28 -man contingent would travel to Lagos en-route Zambia for the encounter.