NFF To Protest Enyimba’s Mistreatment To CAF | Independent Newspapers Limited
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NFF To Protest Enyimba’s Mistreatment To CAF

NFF; Promasidor
Posted: Apr 22, 2016 at 3:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Peter Edema

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) will protest the intimidation of Enyimba players by Etoile du Sahel’s supporters in Sousse on Wednesday night during the CAF Champions League second round second leg match between Etoile Sportive du Sahel and Enyimba FC to the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
The match, which Enyimba won 4-3 on penalties, after the two legged encounter ended 3-3, Amaju Pinnick, the NFF President, said was more of a war rather being a football game.
“What happened around the Stade Olympique in Sousse on Wednesday bordered on extreme intimidation of the opposition. This is not football. Football is about peace, about love and about friendship,” said Pinnick on Thursday.
“When Etoile du Sahel came to Nigeria, we provided everything to them, including a friendly football arena. We will lodge a strong protest to CAF on this matter.”
Pinnick said that if it came to personally delivering the protest at the CAF headquarters in Cairo, he would be willing and ready to do so.
“We will wait for the team to return from Tunisia so that we can get the full details of what transpired.
“However, we are delighted at Enyimba’s qualification. They have shown that they are truly very much experienced on the road. They withstood everything thrown at them and scaled through. That is the stuff of champions.”
Pinnick also pledged that the NFF will continue to give Enyimba all the backing as they go for a third CAF Champions League title. “The NFF Board made the decision at its last meeting to give Enyimba FC full support to go for the African title. Nothing has changed.”
NFF’s Acting Director of Competitions, Bola Oyeyode, told from Sousse on Wednesday night that a tense and intimidating atmosphere prevailed throughout the match, with Nigerian players and officials serially pelted with various objects.
Hamza Lahmar scored with three minutes left in the first half through a free –kick, and Diego Acosta hit a brace in the 61st and 71st minutes to cancel out Enyimba’s first leg 3-0 advantage.
Enyimba’s Mfon Udoh, who scored all of People’s Elephants’ goals in the first leg in Port Harcourt, and forward Christian Pyagbara missed the Nigerians’ first two kicks in the shoot –out, stacking the odds against the 2003 and 2004 winners.
But goalkeeper Theophilus Afelokhai turned hero after he saved three successive kicks in the shoot –out to see Enyimba FC through to the group stage on 4-3 penalty shoot –out triumph.
Felix Anyansi Agwu, Chairman of Enyimba of Aba, has also vowed that Etoile must pay for the intimidations and attacks against the team before and after the match on Wednesday. He vowed to file a formal letter of complaints to CAF.
Revealing this via his Twitter handle, Farriel Allaputa, Enyimba’s Media Officer, said following the intimidation and attack on Enyimba officials on Wednesday, the club has said it would “file a formal letter of complaint to the Confederation of Africa Football Today (Thursday).”
”Enyimba will file a formal letter of complaint to CAF today over the actions of Etoile du Sahel in yesterday’s (Wednesday) game.”
”According to club boss Anyansi: We will not let our victory overshadow the brutality of Etoile du Sahel. They must pay for what they did.”
”The threat of violence was so high that all Enyimba officials were on the bench during the game, the only safe place they could hide.”
It will be recalled that immediately after the spot kicks that ended Etoile’s hope of a place in the lucrative group stage, the angry home fans invaded the pitch and molested some of the players of Nigerian champions.