Start of league in Gabon delayed as threat of local player strike remains

Gabon PFA president Remy Ebanega
Gabon international Remy Ebanega co-founded his country's footballers' association

The start of the Gabon league championship has been delayed until 19 November but the threat of a local player strike remains.

Gabon will host the Africa Cup of Nations in January but its domestic footballers are unhappy with their working conditions.

"Our objective remains the same - that's to say, a strike if the players aren't listened to," Remy Ebanega, who heads up Gabon's footballers union (ANFPG), told BBC Sport.

The new season was set to start on 5 November.

Ebanega says that several players have received anonymous threats in recent days.

These have come to their mobile phones from unregistered numbers.

Chief among the ANFPG's four main demands is the back payment of salaries dating from present day back to 2013.

The ANFPG also wants to see the introduction of a standard contract for players, a charter for professional players and the introduction of a litigation chamber.

Some league players say they have gone 11 months without being paid.

Players from the club in question, Akanda FC, protested outside the house of their club president last week, so prompting the president to accuse them of trespassing.

On Friday - Erwim Nguema, Rodrigue Moundounga and Vladimir Aworet - were called before a court in Libreville where they were advised as to how they could conduct their protests in future.

Several players from other clubs went along to show their support to the players.

Gabon is an oil-rich nation with one of Africa's highest GDPs per capita.

The 2017 Nations Cup hosts suffered a set-back to their preparations on Friday, when it was confirmed that Jorge Costa had been removed as Gabon's national coach.

Technical director, Jose Antonio Garrido, takes charge on a temporary basis.

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