Players have heaved a sign of relief after the organizers of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Senior Tennis Open Championships finally paid their prize monies.
There had been uproar after the organizers refused to pay the players their prize monies over a week after they had lost their matches.
“This thing is very unbelievable. I don lose match since on Monday, to pay us na im be the problem. Meanwhile, dem sey CBN don already approve the money, to pay us na the problem.
“Most of the players, dem no fit go back to their states, dem need to wait. Dem need to wait to get their money.
“Dem sey make we drop account number, we drop account number, yet, nothing. I don lose my first round match since on Monday, I no fit go back to my state, because dem never pay me. I never settle my accommodation bill.
“I stay till Sunday before dem pursue us comot for the room, because some athletes wan collect the hotel again. We dey owe people wey dey sell food money because dem never pay us. E no good sha,” one of the players had lamented in a message to Nigeria Tennis Live.
Another player who spoke in the situation, narrated how some of the players who traveled to Abuja had to sleep outside the stadium as they became stranded after the competition.
“Concerning this tennis situation, on the fact sheet, they said there was accommodation. When we got there, they said there was no accommodation, that our federation did not make any such arrangement with them.
“Some of the players slept outside the stadium, yes. While those who had money had to look for places to sleep in, and hotels in Abuja are very very expensive. How much do we bring to tournaments? And they expect us play well?
Nigerian Tennis Live has since gathered that the situation changed following the remittance of the funds to the players, starting Tuesday night.
“Bro, I hear sey dem don dey pay people, but I never receive alert yet. But others don tell me sey dem don dey sort them out,” said one of the players who wanted to remain anonymous.
Another player also confirmed receiving his prize money. “Dem don pay me sha. I see the money around dat kain 11pm on Tuesday night.”