By TUNDE SHAMSUDEEN
The General Manager of Shooting Stars FC, Ibadan, Rasheed Balogun, has been cleared of any complicity in a case of missing club pre-season welfare fund allegedly self-appropriated by a player in whose account the money was said to have been domiciled, reports Sportstalkafrica.com.
Club chairman, Gbolagade Busari, stated on Thursday that Balogun has no case to answer after investigations into the occurrence which took place during the team’s pre-season camping exercise in Ijebu Ode.
The sum of N600,000 meant for the players welfare during the exercise was said to have been paid by the management of the club into the account of a player identified as Azeez Rasheed but after the club collected N250,000 through Dimeji Lawal, the player allegedly absconded with the balance and could not be reached since then.
Sources close to the player however told Sportstalkafrica.com that the he has justified his action by claiming that he was owed backlog of entitlements by the club.
According to the GM, the money meant for the upkeep of the players and officials of the team during their pre-season camp in Ijebu Ode was paid into the player’s Skye bank account but after withdrawing N250,000.00 out of the money, the player allegedly disappeared into thin air and has not shown up till now.
Speaking with Sportstalkafrica.com, Busari said after extensive investigation, the management found that Balogun had nothing to do with the matter, stating that no wrongdoing was established against him.
The former sports journalist and Special Adviser to Oyo State Governor expressed satisfaction with the explanations of Balogun on the issue, adding that the management of the club is committed to the welfare of players and officials.
“After listening to the explanation of the General Manager of the club, when the news broke out few days back, I want to say I am satisfied with his own side of the story because he acted in good faith and in the interest of club so that the club will not be embarrassed.”
Busari stated further that necessary machineries have been put in place to safeguard the club’s funds, pledging that the management would be more careful in future cash transactions.
He thus expressed sadness that such an ugly situation can happen from a player who should have the intetest of his colleagues at heart.
Busari however tasked the management staff of the club to be more careful in the way they handle cash transactions especially the ones that are meant for the welfare of the players and officials.