Sony Sugar Chief Executive Officer Boniface Odhiambo has dismissed Daniel Ochieng’s allegations that they are to blame for his career-ending injury.
Ochieng was injured in 2017 when he was turning out against Thika United at Awendo Green Stadium and that became his last game up to date since he dislocated his hip.
The former centre-forward stated how the club was allegedly not financially compliant enough to help him seek medication.
Odhiambo said the player was not paid as he could not be traced and Ochieng must seek compensation from the insurance company.
“The contract was not terminated but it expired and he was to be treated by our insurance company as our players do,” Odhiambo told TV47.
“So, he must follow up the payment with the insurance firm and when we were looking for this guy, he changed his phone number and we could not reach him. That is how the guy lost the contract with us.”
Explaining how the injury became worse, the player himself, Ochieng stated: “I felt pain at that moment but it almost disappeared and I went on playing. But after the game, I felt the pain even more and the physiotherapist advised me to work at the gym as he thought it was just a muscle strain.
“Little did I know the more I trained the more it worsened.
“I did pay for the medical cover from my salaries because the office said they had no money then. I signed for Sony Sugar Company not as a footballer because that is how Sony used to sign their players.
“That was the policy of the company and the insurance was paid for you as a worker. I felt the office was slow in dealing with the injury issue and for your information, I was not the first player to undergo such an ordeal.”
Ochieng alleged he was forced to seek private means in order to get urgent medication in Kisumu, Kisii, and even in Kijabe, Kiambu County.
“The more I waited the more the injury worsened,” he added. “I paid for my medical expense as the company delayed in settling the claims I made. I only got Ksh18000 which catered for the MRI but the other expenses for services in Kisii and Kijabe Hospital, I had to foot the bills.
“The doctor at Kijabe Hospital told me the medication will cost Ksh190,000 an amount I could not afford then. But the shocking part is that the company terminated my contract [in 2018].
“They claimed I was not going to be paid because I was not training yet they knew very well I was injured. Salim Babu [then coach at Sony Sugar] tried a lot to push my case with the company but all ended when he was sacked and another coach was brought in.
“I was at times threatened when I went to the office to ask for the compensation of the money I used for medication.
“With the injury, I was told my football life ended and I can only return to the game on a different capacity.”
Ochieng is recuperating at his Luanda home and Sony Sugar are now in the National Super League.