CAF Champions League: Enyimba protests shift of Zamalek fixture

Nigeria’s representative in the CAF Champions League, Enyimba FC of Aba, has protested the rescheduling of their match against Zamalek of Egypt to Saturday from the earlier fixed date of Sunday, saying the sudden change was not discussed and that it would create difficulties for them.

In a press statement released on the club website EnyimbaFC.net, on Friday afternoon, its chairman, Chief Felix Anyansi Agwu, described the sudden rescheduling of the club’s CAF Champions League fixture against Zamalek as highly unfair.

Enyimba departed Nigeria on Thursday afternoon with the knowledge that their make or break tie against the Egyptians is on Sunday, August 14, 2016 but shortly after arrival in Cairo, a letter from CAF was received by the club, stating that due to security concerns the match had been brought forward to Saturday, August 13, 2016.

A shocked Anyansi Agwu told EnyimbaFC.net: “This is highly unfair. I don’t know how the fixture of a game as important as this can be brought forward without any consultation with the visiting team.

It’s against the rules.”
“We have made all our plans based on the knowledge that we are playing on Sunday, so we don’t know how we can suddenly be told to play on Saturday.”
“What if we had arrived Egypt on Friday? Would we have been forced to still play on Saturday? This is not fair at all for us and for the entire Nigeria. Any change should have been discussed with us so all parties can work out what is in the best interest of everyone. Right now, this doesn’t suit us at all.
Moreover, we travelled with a limited number of players. Our intention was to have the rest of our squad join us from Spain on Saturday, where they are on national assignment. They would be arriving Cairo at 5pm on Saturday, so how would the match be played? We do not have the requisite number of players for a match on Saturday, so we are appealing to CAF to move the game to Monday, August 15, if it cannot be played on Sunday due to security concerns, it’s the only way we can play.”

“We will also be appealing to the Egyptian FA and Zamalek to assist us in changing our booking reservations with Egypt Air from Monday to Tuesday. This change will cause us difficulties and we are appealing to CAF, the Egyptian FA and Zamalek SC to make things easy for us, because we have no hand in the adjustment of the fixture.”

Enyimba have no point in their group after two games and will be hoping to avoid defeat in Cairo to keep alive their dreams of a third continental crown. Zamalek meanwhile are second on the log with 3 points behind already qualified Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa.

Enyimba FC Chairman, Felix Anyasi-Agwu
Enyimba FC Chairman, Felix Anyasi-Agwu

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Fred Edoreh - Publisher

Born July 13, 1965, Fred Edoreh hails from Umeh, Isoko South, Delta State. He attended St. John Primary School, Iselegu, Mater Dei Collage Ashaka, St. Patrick’s Grammar School, Asaba for HSC and graduated in English and Literary Studies at Bendel State University, Ekpoma.
He went into journalism in 1990 with Newbreed Magazine and later crossed over to television production with Ultimate Sports and Soccerworld on the Nigeria Televsion Authority.
He subsequently moved to pioneer Internet publishing in Nigeria with Nigeriasports.com and was later employed at Silverbird Television from where he moved as Editor of Weekend Sports at Naational Mirror Newspapers.
He currently publishes the online sports website www.sportstalkafrica.com besides and also runs a sports marketing outfit, Westcoast Works and Projects, managing and marketing live radio broadcast of the Nigeria Professional Football League.

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