Football: Singapore Cup final in jeopardy as Global players threaten to go on strike

Albirex Niigata was supposed to face off against Global Cebu in the RHB Singapore Cup Final, but players from the Philippine outfit say they will not board the plane to Singapore unless they are payed some of the wages they are owed.
Albirex Niigata was supposed to face off against Global Cebu in the RHB Singapore Cup Final, but players from the Philippine outfit say they will not board the plane to Singapore unless they are payed some of the wages they are owed.PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM FACEBOOK/GREAT EASTERN-HYUNDAI S.LEAGUE

SINGAPORE - The RHB Singapore Cup Final will take place this Saturday (Nov 25) but one of the finalists - Philippine outfit Global Cebu - may not show up against S-League champions Albirex Niigata at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

Sources revealed that Global players are owed salaries, some of them for up to six months, and players are refusing to get on the plane to Singapore unless they are paid at least a month of what is owed to them.

When contacted by The New Paper on Wednesday (Nov 22), Global captain Misagh Bahadoran confirmed the news and said: "This year, we are going through a difficult time.

"There are two players who are owed six months of salary, while most of us are owed between four and five months."

"But I don't think the management will let that (boycott of the Singapore Cup final) happen. I've been with Global for about seven years now, and sometimes salaries will be late, but you never see players not get what is owed to them," added the Philippine international.

Bahadoran spoke before the players met the club's management to address this specific issue, with other sources confirming that the management was due to meet its backroom staff later in the day.

TNP understands that Global are in the process of a management change.

Bahadoran hopes that the salary issue will be resolved and believes Global have enough quality to beat Albirex if they show up for the final.

"We have a strong team with good players. Once we step on the field, we will get the job done. When we last came to Singapore, we took only 13 players, but we still won the game," he said.

Due to registration issues, Global played Hougang United in a two-legged Singapore Cup semi-final in September with only 13 players on their roster but still managed to beat the Cheetahs 4-3 on aggregate.

"We are having a hard time now, but we had a similar hard time last year," said Bahadoran on the issue of late wages.

"But we still won the (Philippine) championship and the cup."