Contract Termination: Huesca Threaten Legal Action, Says Nwakali’s Claims Lack ‘Veracity’

Nwakali is a former Nigerian youth international. [email protected]

 

Spanish side Huesca have threatened legal action against Super Eagles midfielder Kelechi Nwakali over his claims that the club terminated his contract for representing Nigeria at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) earlier in the year. 

The club terminated his contract on Tuesday, claiming the player reported 10 days late after the competition and gave “incredible stories” for his lateness.

Although Nwakali broke silence over the matter on Wednesday, accusing Huesca of intimidation, the Segunda side have dismissed the claims, describing them as lacking “veracity”.

“On the statements made by Kelechi Nwakali earlier today after [a] premature termination of the contract that bound him and SD Huesca, the club wishes to express its total repudiation given their complete lack of veracity,” Huesca said in a statement issued on their website, hours after Nwakali’s outburst.

“All of this is done in the conviction that the club has acted at all times with the utmost respect for the player.

“Nevertheless, in view of the seriousness of certain statements referred to in his notice, this club reserves for itself the right to take the appropriate legal action to defend its rights to protect their legitimate interests.”

READ ALSO: Nwakali Accuses Huesca Of Contract Termination For Representing Nigeria At AFCON

‘I Will Never Regret My Decision’

Nigeria won all group stage game at the AFCON. [email protected]

 

Before Huesca’s comment, the Spanish Soccer Players Association (AFE) had vowed to challenge the contract termination, arguing that the move violated labour rights.

“In the face of the numerous information that is appearing, some erroneous, AFE wants to clarify that the dismissal will be challenged – as it cannot be otherwise – before the courts of the city of Huesca with the aim of continuing to safeguard the labor rights of the footballer,” the association said in a statement.

“AFE understands that, with this unilateral resolution adopted by the club, the labor rights of Kelechi Nwakali have clearly been violated.”

Despite the debacle, Nwakali insists he does not regret representing Nigeria at Africa’s premier football competition.

Playing for the three-time AFCON champions is an honour, the former youth international said in a lengthy post in which he accused Huesca of delaying his wages.

“I will never regret my decision to represent Nigeria and all I want to do is get back to playing the sport I love,” he maintained.

“Lastly, I want to thank the fans and my teammates of Huesca who have been amazing during my time here. I have always given 100% for the club, despite my treatment over the past three years.”

Football authorities in Nigeria have not commented on the issue. FIFA and CAF have also not issued any statement on the matter as of the time of publishing this report.

Nwakali Accuses Huesca Of Contract Termination For Representing Nigeria At AFCON

Nwakali is a former Nigerian youth international. [email protected]

 

Super Eagles midfielder Kelechi Nwakali has accused Spanish side Huesca of intimidation, claiming the club terminated his contract for representing Nigeria at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON). 

The player made the comment in a post on his Instagram handle, hours after the Segunda Division side confirmed that his contract has been terminated even before it was due to expire in June.

Nwakali, who lamented the ill-treatment from the club, accused them of withholding his wages.

READ ALSONigeria Fail To Qualify For World Cup In Qatar After Ghana Draw

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Kelechi Nwakali (@nwakali25)

“It comes with huge regret that I am writing this message after SD Huesca announced the termination of my contract,” the former youth international began in the lengthy post.

“I have kept silent out of respect for the Huesca fans and my teammates, but I will no longer suffer in silence. 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 December 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 I 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 contracts.

“The breakdown in negotiations came when my mother fell ill and I 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 game 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.

“Throughout this time, Huesca have not paid my wages, yet I have remained silent hoping that a reasonable resolution could be found. But yesterday when I turned up at the training ground, a member of the club tried to force me to sign mutual termination papers which I refused to do. I have a family that depends on me, and no player should have to go through this inhumane treatment.”

An Unregretable Decision

(Top L-R) Nigeria’s goalkeeper Maduka Okoye, defender Kenneth Omeruo, midfielder Wilfred Ndidi, forward Taiwo Awoniyi, midfielder Joe Aribo, defender William Troost-Ekong, (bottom L-R) forward Kelechi Iheanacho, defender Ola Aina, defender Zaidu Sanusi, forward Samuel Chukwueze and forward Moses Simon pose prior to the Group D Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 football match between Nigeria and Sudan at Stade Roumde Adjia in Garoua on January 15, 2022. Daniel BELOUMOU OLOMO / AFP

 

Despite the treatment, he maintained that he does not regret playing for Nigeria at the competition.

“I will never regret my decision to represent Nigeria and all I want to do is get back to playing the sport I love,” he wrote.

“Lastly, I want to thank the fans and my teammates of Huesca who have been amazing during my time here. I have always given 100% for the club, despite my treatment over the past three years.”

Meanwhile, the Spanish Players’ Association (AFE) has pledged to wade into the matter and challenge the decision in court.

“In the face of the numerous information that is appearing, some erroneous, AFE wants to clarify that the dismissal will be challenged – as it cannot be otherwise – before the courts of the city of Huesca with the aim of continuing to safeguard the labor rights of the footballer,” the association said in a statement.

“AFE understands that, with this unilateral resolution adopted by the club, the labor rights of Kelechi Nwakali have clearly been violated.”

Arsenal Loan Nigeria’s Nwakali To Porto

Nigeria’s forward, Kelechi Nwakali, joins Porto on loan from Arsenal.

 

Arsenal’s Nigeria midfielder Kelechi Nwakali joined Portuguese champions Porto on a season-long loan on Thursday.

Nwakali, 20, has yet to break into the Arsenal team since moving to the Premier League club in 2016.

He was sent on loan to Dutch side MVV Maastricht for the 2016-17 season and returned to Holland for a loan spell at VVV Venlo last term.

“Kelechi Nwakali will spend next season on loan with Portuguese side FC Porto. The deal is subject to the completion of regulatory processes,” Arsenal said on Thursday.

Nwakali has played once for Nigeria’s senior team after captaining his country to victory at the Under-17 World Cup in 2015.

Speaking to the Porto website, Nwakali added: “My main goal is to develop, improve my qualities and the other aspects I know I need to correct to grow in the way I play,” he said.

“I think FC Porto is the right place to evolve as a player. There are good players, young people, and I think I’ll grow up here.”

Arsenal are also reported to be on the verge of finalising a deal for 16-year-old left-back Joel Lopez, who recently made it clear he would be leaving Barcelona.

AFP