Elahor blames league managers for clubs’ early exit from CAF competitions
Former international, Friday Elahor, has blamed failure of the country’s representatives to this year’s CAF competitions on poor handling by league administrators, who have failed to put the league in session before the start of competitions.
Nigeria’s representatives in the CAF Champions League, Akwa United and Rivers United, Confederation Cup, Bayelsa United and Women’s Champions League, Rivers Angels, all failed to make further progress in the competitions they were registered for due to their last season’s performance.
Speaking with The Guardian yesterday, Elahor said the country’s football governing body needs to plan a league calendar that will favour the country’s representatives.
While commending the teams that are still in the race for continental victories, he asked, “how can the players prepare well for CAF competitions when there are no competitive games to put them in right physical condition?
“In any case, you don’t blame the clubs when they get eliminated from the continental championships when the leagues are on recess. We just have to thank God for Enyimba and Rivers United that are still part of the CAF competition.
“I was not surprised that some of the clubs representing us crashed out. Even the teams Enyimba and Rivers United are going to meet in the next round of the CAF Confederation Cup won’t be easy for them. But we pray they scale through and qualify for the next stage of the money spinning competitions,” he said.
The former ACB FC winger also talked about the Rivers Angels, who failed in the maiden Women’s CAF Champions League in Egypt after losing to ASFAR of Morocco and South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns, saying, “I learnt they were not treated well before they left for the competition in Egypt. But I don’t know whether it is true or not.
“But again, if you look at the quality of our leagues in the country, you cannot compare them with the ones in other African countries. It is not fair to our clubs that our leagues don’t begin before the CAF tournaments start.
“With our leagues still in recess, how do you want the coaches handling these clubs competing on the continent to put their players in good shape against countries with active leagues? And when our teams get eliminated they say they are bad and no one looks at the administrators, who have failed to harmonise our league in order to give our representatives advantage over their opponents.”