Fresh crisis splits Heartland of Owerri

By TUNDE SHAMSUDEEN
The leadership crisis rocking Heartland Football Club has taken a deep turn manifesting in two parallel backroom staff groups contesting to be in charge of the team, reports sportstalkafrica.com.

We gathered that the club chairman, Hon Goodfaith Chibuzor Etuemena, is faced with the dilemma of receiving reports from the two opposing groups of technical crew and backroom staffs.

While the Deputy Speaker of Imo House of Assembly in collaboration with then Club Supervisor, Ugonna Ozuruigbo, unveiled Cameroonian tactician Emmanuel Deustch as the team head coach, another group parades Ramson Madu as coach.

Our check further revealed that the two groups are conducting separate screening exercise and training for same one Heartland.

There have been claims and counter claims with the two groups making public statements to promote their officers.

A statement by Cajetan Nkwopara, from one of the groups, listed Atlanta ’96 Olympic Gold medallist Mobi Oparaku as Team Manager while Nkwopara moves up as secretary cum media manager.

The statement said further that Veronica Aghalanya will serve as the assistant secretary, Emmanuel Emelu will hold sway as welfare officer while Clifford Eze holds the position of chief security officer.

Emmanuel Ugo is the new deputy security officer, Anthony Okoro holds the post of assistant coordinator while Sunny Ndubuisi Opara combines the posts of scouting and marketing manager.

On the technical bench, Madu will be assisted by former ABS coach Patrick Awaja as assistant coach while Bob Acholonu remains the chief fitness trainer.

In a swift reaction, media manager of other group, Solomon Onu, disassociated themselves from the list released by Cajetan, describing it as ‘fake” and stating that players, backroom staffs and management are together and united with one objective to return the team to the elite league.

Onu said the team shall not be held liable for any fraudulent acts committed by a “band of impostors and con artists.”

“We wish to state that the club is united under the leadership of Chibuzor Etuemena as General Manager, Oscar Keke as Chief Operating Officer, and Emeka Iwuagwu as General Coordinator. Our players are still intact among who are Ebele Obi, Julius Ubido, Arinze Nwangwu, Uchenna Orisakwe, among others.”

“It is interesting to note that some of these impostors were former employees of Heartland whose services are no longer needed by the club,” Onu said.

Efforts made by our correspondent before press time to get clarity from Honourable Etuemena was abortive as his mobile phones did not respond.

Heartland was relegated from the elite class last season and will now feature in the Nigeria National League.


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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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