James Sowole in Akure
Barely 24 hours after Kwara United eased out influential John Obuh from the dug out of the Ilorin club for poor performance, Ondo State-owned Sunshine Stars have also dumped ex-international Duke Udi.
Instead of blaming Sunshine Starsâ€™ 17th position on the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) log on Udi, the management of the Akure Gunners insisted his sack is due to his alleged misconduct and insubordination.
Sunshine has only earned 13 points from the 12-week old topflight and is scheduled to play Yobe Deserts on Sunday in Akure.
A former coach of the team, Henry Abiodun, was asked to step into the saddle as Udiâ€™s replacement.
Ondo Stateâ€™s Commissioner for Sports and Youth Development, Saka Yusuf-Ogunleye who announced Udiâ€™s sack yesterday said his ministry took the decision following letters received from the Ondo State Football Agency over the act of insubordination and gross misconduct of the Delta born coach.
“Following a letter received from the management board of Ondo State Football Agency on misconduct and insubordination of the Head Coach of the Sunshine Stars, Duke Udi had been asked to step aside.
“The management, board and the Ministry of Youth and Sports management at a joint meeting yesterday agreed that coach Duke Udi should step aside with effect from today March 13 and the Technical Director of the team, Coach Henry Abiodun with a CAF â€˜Aâ€™ Licence should lead the team,” the statement from the commissionerâ€™s office announced.
While reacting to his sack, Udi told journalists on telephone that he had not be contacted on the matter stressing that he just left the teamâ€™s training for his residence.
“If it is so, that is no problem. I have a one-year contract with the team and if anybody is asking me to leave, they must respect my contract and pay me my money.
“Leaving is not a problem. I just left training and nobody told me anything like that but if stepping aside is the next thing, they have to pay me because I have a one- year contract running,” the coach told THISDAY later yesterday evening.