Heartland FC banned for two seasons
Heartland FC of Owerri has been banned from signing new players for the next two registration seasons until it complies with a ruling of the League Management Company (LMC) in separate complaints of unlawful termination of contract and indebtedness filed by two former players of the club, Maduabuchi Okereke and Fatuwanse Alfred Olusegun.
Maduabuchi and Fatuwase had in separate petitions to the LMC dated November 5, 2019, complained about unpaid dues, wrongful termination of contract and compensation. While Maduabuchi claimed a total of N10.400, 000, Fatuwase asked for a total of N6, 250,000.
In its ruling communicated to Heartland FC on February 17, 2020, the LMC noted that the club failed to respond to the claims of the players despite having been invited by the LMC to state its case through a letter dated January 28, 2020.
The LMC said the players and the club did execute separate employment contracts (in the form of the NPFL Standard Player Contract), the duration of which was November 10, 2018, to November 9, 2021.
The LMC rejected a letter of clearance purportedly issued the players by Heartland FC on August 28, 2019. The LMC stated that a “contract or agreement must be signed or executed by each party to the said agreement. The fact that the clearance letter was signed only by the Club through its General Manager indicates that it cannot be deemed to be an agreement that binds the Player.”
Heartland FC was ordered to pay Maduabuchi the sums of N7, 200,000 representing the remaining two years of his three-year contract and another N900, 000 unpaid arrears of three months consolidated salary stipulated in the contract before it was wrongfully terminated by the club.
Fatuwanse was awarded N4, 800, 000 representing the remaining two years of his three-year contract and another N600, 000 unpaid arrears of three months consolidated salary as stipulated in the contract before it was wrongfully terminated by the club.