Kelechi Nwakali’s contract with SD Huesca, a Spanish second-tier club, has been terminated. His contract was set to expire in June 2022.
It puts an end to the angst and uncertainty that has plagued the 23-year-old’s future since Nigeria’s AFCON 2021 campaign ended.
Nwakali has endured a succession of disappointments in his professional career, despite being largely regarded as one of Nigeria’s most promising players over the last decade.
The termination was announced on the Spanish side’s official Twitter feed.
Kelechi Nwakali, on the other hand, issued an official statement shortly after his contract with SD Huesca was terminated.
It comes with huge regret that I am writing this message after SD Huesca announced the termination of my contract.
I have kept silent out of respect for the Huesca fans and my teammates, but I will no longer suffer in silence. The time has come for people to know the truth and why these past few months have been awful for me and my family.
In Dec 2021, I experienced the biggest honour of my life after I received a full international call up for my beloved Nigeria. But the joy of this moment quickly came crashing down when the club’s Sporting Director, Ruben Garcia, put extreme pressure on me not to go to AFCON due to it ‘not being an important tournament’.
He told me that if I go to AFCON I will not play for Huesca again. This behaviour and the lack of respect shown to my country Nigeria was truly heart-breaking and it was just the latest example of the club attempting to bully me into getting their own way.
For months the club has been abusing its power to bully me into signing a new contract.
These tactics have included paying me late on numerous occasions. The breakdown in negotiations came when my mother fell ill and I asked Ruben for the wages the club already owed me in order to pay for my Mother’s hospital bill and treatment.
Ruben Garcia responded to my request by saying ‘Sign this new contract and we will pay you what’s owed tonight!
But despite these actions, I was not going to allow the club to stop me representing my country at one of the biggest international tournaments in the world and I was honoured to join my teammates in Cameroon.
Before Nigeria’s last 16 game against Tunisia on 23rd January 2022, I began to feel unwell and was diagnosed with a Respiratory Tract Infection. As a result I was not fit enough to play in the game against Tunisia.
After we were eliminated from the tournament I was unable to return to the club immediately as planned because of my illness following advice from the Doctor.