Eight players from the football club Jeunesse Sportive de Ouidah (JSO) in Benin faced a distressing situation when they were detained at a police station in Cotonou.
These players had not received their wages for four months and were demanding payment from their club.
They had gathered at the headquarters of “Les Bagnoles,” a partner company of the club, to seek their unpaid salaries and bonuses.
The players stayed outside the company’s gate from morning until evening, but their demands were not met. Frustrated and desperate, they decided to confront the club authorities.
However, instead of finding a resolution, the club called the police. The players were arrested and spent the night at the police station.
The National Union of Professional Footballers of Benin (UNFPB) expressed concern over the players’ situation and called for urgent action to help them.
A delegation from the UNFPB and the COSI-Benin union intervened to secure the players’ release and demanded that the authorities address their grievances.
The players were released but were summoned to appear in court on a later date. The union criticized the players for their late-night confrontation with the company.
Noël Chadaré, a representative of the union, expressed dismay at the living and working conditions of footballers in Benin.
He emphasized the need for clubs to take responsibility for their players’ well-being instead of relying solely on state subsidies.
This incident sheds light on the financial difficulties faced by several professional football clubs in Benin.
Many clubs struggle to pay their players, while they depend on government funds. The situation remains unresolved, as the subsidies promised to the teams have not been disbursed.
Efforts are being made to address the plight of the players, with discussions taking place between union representatives and club officials. Steps are being taken to ensure that the players receive their rightful wages and improve their overall working conditions.