*Gives Friday deadline as Rangers also claim the Eagles player
By Duro Ikhazuagbe
Super Eagles Africa Cup of Nations two-goal hero, Sunday Mba, has been given Friday March 1 ultimatum to report to camp by Warri Wolves or face sanctions. This is the new twist to the on-going tussle between Warri Wolves and Enugu Rangers over the ownership of the 24-year old Eagles midfielder.
Spokesman of the Warri-based professional football club, Moses Etu, confirmed to THISDAY Sunday that the Delta State owned team was not ready to join issues with Rangers on the player as Mba knows he has a two-year contract with Warri Wolves.
“Sunday Mba has only spent one year out of the two-year contract he signed with us. It is on the basis of this that we are giving him up till Friday, March 1 to return to our camp ahead of the new football season we are preparing for,” observed.
Etu warned that inasmuch as he was not threatening the player, “club rules are very clear on a situation where a player abandons his contract. We know the right thing to do to get redress.”
Mba’s goal against the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire gave Nigeria the AFCON 2013 semi final ticket and also ultimately grabbed the winner against Burkina Faso for the Super Eagles to lift the trophy.
The Warri Wolves media officer hinted that the matter has been reported to the Nigeria Football Federation.
"We have absolute confidence in NFF believing that they will follow the path of justice. We have the documents signed by Mba and requests by Rangers for us to clear the players for them which we refused to do." he said.
"We have also written the NFF to apply the relevant sanctions regarding inducement and misleading of the public by Rangers International on this matter.”
Etu further warned that Warri Wolves would not hesitate to report the matter to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and the world football governing body, FIFA if need be.
"We have confidence in NFF but we won't hesitate to take the matter to CAF and FIFA. Rangers can be banned from further participation in the CAF Champions League while the player faces the prospect of being banned for years," stressed the club spokesman.
But Rangers Chairman, Chief Festus Onu, defended the position of his club insisting that he was shocked by Warri Wolves claims.
“Sunday Mba is very much our player. A few years ago, he left Rangers for Enyimba from where he proceeded to Warri Wolves. We never cleared him to play for Enyimba in the first place and we have documents to validate our claims,” Onu also claimed Sunday.
Mba, who is at the centre of the storm told Supersport.com Sunday night, that he has the final say on where to play. “I want to go to Enugu to see how this will be sorted out amicably but ultimately, I have the final say in this. I alone can decide where I will play. No one can say to me that I am a Warri Wolves player or an Enugu Rangers player,” he said.
However, the Wolves spokesman described Mba’s statement as a huge joke. “Let him try to breach his contract first and see where it will land him.”
Although some foreign clubs are said to be making enquiries on how to sign the Super Eagles players, the current ownership struggle between the two NPL clubs may scuttle such moves. Warri Wolves last week placed a One million Euro transfer tag on the player now under dispute.