‘Now I know why it’s difficult for clubs to survive in Maiduguri’
• Delta Force boss celebrates 2-0 victory over El-Kanemi
• Fans want Warri Wolves chairman sacked
Delta Force FC of Asaba visited the ‘lions den’ in Maiduguri on Sunday and came out victorious with an emphatic 2-0 victory over El-Kanemi Warriors.
The win has pushed the ‘Delta Ambassadors’ to the fifth place on the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Group B table. But the victory in Maiduguri was achieved under ‘scary conditions.’
Narrating their ordeal in Maiduguri, Delta Force FC Chairman, Emmanuel Chidi-Okonkwo told The Guardian shortly after the match that the victory over El-Kanemi Warriors was a near ‘impossibility.’
“The people are so hostile to visiting teams,” Chidi-Okonkwo said. “At a point, I began to ask myself why all these stress. A situation whereby a small boy will slap you all in the name of supporting his home team is becoming unbearable in our league. Now, I know why it is difficult for clubs to win in Maiduguri.”
The match was supposed to be played behind closed doors, but Chidi-Okonkwo said the fans of the home team made their way into the arena, harassing everybody in their bid to make El-Kanemi Warriors win at all cost. “I must commend my players for holding their ground. After drawing our last league match against Heartland FC in Asaba, I told my players and the coaches to put everything into this game in Maiduguri. And to make them comfortable, we flew into Maiduguri on Friday aboard an Air Max plane.
“I lodged the team at Command Guest House, one of the best in Maiduguri. But I am yet to recover from the punishment I received in the hands of El-Kanemi’s fans. We were held hostage by the fans for over an hour after the match. Maybe, in subsequent away matches, I will provide the funds and other logistics the team will need to win, and stay back. I feared for my life in Maiduguri,” Chidi-Okonkwo stated.
Ufuoma Ajamikoko, who made his debut in the NPFL this season, scored in the 32nd minute of the first half for Coach Mangut Mbwas Ayuba boys, while Egbo Otukhe made it two in the 95th minutes.
Meanwhile, fans of Warri Wolves FC have called on the state government to sack the chairman/CEO of the club, Moses Etu with immediate effect.
Warri Wolves sacked their coach, Taju Lamidi on Sunday following alleged poor performance. Some of the fans who spoke with The Guardian however feel the club’s problem lie on the hands of the chairman, Etu, a journalist turned football administrator.
“Etu uses his position as a journalist to intimidate the coaches, and he always has his ways because the sports commission chairman, Tony Okowa is his godfather. For Warri Wolves to grow, the government has to remove Etu immediately. He is not mature enough to be a club chairman,” one of the fans said.
Contacted, Etu said: “Anybody reporting me to the sports commission or the state government is wasting his or her time. This is our government and I have not done anything wrong.”
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