I-League side Chennai City Football Club are in the midst of a crisis as their foreign players have threatened to not travel to the team's next match against Aizawl FC on February 25, protesting against the club not paying their salaries for the last two months.
It is believed that the players are also contemplating taking the matter to the Football Players Association of India. The players have reportedly been told that they will be getting paid soon for the past 20 days, without any change in the status.
Speaking under anonymity to the Times of India, a player, who had already spoken to the FPAI, said, "The official asked us to wait for a few more days before taking the matter forward. I also had a chat with two of our foreigners. They said they might leave the country before the next match if not paid immediately."
He went on to say, "Whenever we receive an SMS, we check whether the salary is being credited...The juniors don't even have money for recharging their mobiles and they are not venturing out of their hotel rooms."
Chennai City, who have a wage bill in the region of Rs. 25 lakh, spoke through secretary Vikram Murali, who said, "We understand the players' problems. But they also should know our issues."
He further elaborated, saying, "There has been restructuring going on at the club with new sponsors coming in. Initially, we didn't have enough man-power to handle it. But we are sorting out the issues and the payments will be done immediately."
The team, who have had a tough start to the season, and currently sit in eighth place in the league, having won only two of their ten matches so far.
The current I-League season had many problems with many teams pulling out prior to the beginning citing economic concerns. Chennai City were one of the new entrants to the league, along with Minerva Punjab FC.