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JUST IN: Spanish club blocks Nigerians’ access to Facebook page after Nwakali’s sack

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

A Spanish football club, SD Huesca, has restricted Nigerians from having access to its Facebook, following Nigerians’ accusation that Huesca unlawfully terminated the contract of Super Eagles midfielder, Kelechi Nwakali, for accepting to represent the country at the 2022 African Cup of Nations (AFCON).

As gathered, the club imposed the ban after Nigerians took over the page and demanded that the club should reverse its decision by recalling the Nigerian midfielder to complete his contract with the Spanish outfit.

Aside from that, it was learnt that the club became threatened after Nigerians persistently demanded that Nwakali’s wages be paid without delay.

When our correspondent visited the Facebook page, it was discovered that the club had placed a permanent restriction on users of the social media platform from Nigeria.

Efforts by our correspondent to get the Spanish club to respond to this development proved abortive as mails sent were not replied to.

Earlier, the Nigerian player narrated that the rift between him and the club began when he was called up to the Super Eagles squad for this year’s AFCON.

Nwakali, who was named player of the tournament at the 2015 FIFA U17 World Cup in Chile, explained that the situation intensified after the Super Eagles were knocked out of the competition by Tunisia and he returned to the club.

“It comes with huge regret that I am writing this message after SD Huesca announced the termination of my contract. I have kept silent out of respect for the Huesca fans and my teammates, but I will no longer suffer in silence,” read the statement.

“The time has come for people to know the truth and why these past few months have been awful for me and my family. In Dec 2021, I experienced the biggest honour of my life after I received a full international call-up for my beloved Nigeria.

“But the joy of this moment quickly came crashing down when the club’s Sporting Director, Ruben Garcia, put extreme pressure on me not to go to AFCON due to it ‘not being an important tournament! He told me that if go to AFCON I will not play for Huesca again.

“This behaviour and the lack of respect shown to my country Nigeria was truly heart-breaking and it was just the latest example of the club attempting to bully me into getting their own way.

“For months the club has been abusing its power to bully me into signing a new contract. These tactics have included paying me late on numerous occasions.

“The breakdown in negotiations came when my mother fell ill and asked Ruben for the wages the club already owed me in order to pay for my Mother’s hospital bill and treatment. Ruben Garcia responded to my request by saying ‘Sign this new contract and we will pay you what’s owed tonight! But despite these actions, I was not going to allow the club to stop me from representing my country at one of the biggest international tournaments in the world and I was honoured to join my teammates in Cameroon.

“Before Nigeria’s last 16 games against Tunisia on 23rd January 2022, I began to feel unwell and was diagnosed with a Respiratory Tract Infection. As a result, I was not fit enough to play in the game against Tunisia.

“After we were eliminated from the tournament I was unable to return to the club immediately as planned because of my illness following advice from the Doctor

“Then, on the last day of the transfer market (January 31, 2022) when I was in the process of returning to join my teammates at Huesca, Ruben Garcia rang me to tell me I had to leave the club after a late offer came in from another La Liga 2 club. He threatened that he would not pay me if I did not leave the club.

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