Enyimba Ordered to Play Rahimo FC Behind Closed Doors



Duro Ikhazuagbe

Nigeria’s CAF Champions League representatives, Enyimba FC have been ordered to play their preliminary round second leg match against Rahimo FC of Burkina Faso in Aba on Sunday behind closed doors pending a final inspection of their home ground.

The two-time champions of the foremost inter-club competition in the continent, Enyimba, lost their first leg in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso 1-0 a fortnight ago.

CAF expressed their displeasure with the lack of an electronic scoreboard, floodlights and CCTV cameras at the Enyimba International Stadium in Aba that underwent a major renovation for two years and was re-opened last year.

Despite having one of the best playing turfs in the country today, CAF insisted that the facility has not met the set standard to hosting international matches due to the absence of the stated equipment.

Sources in Aba also hinted THISDAY that the stadium management has also failed to remove political posters and billboards erected at the facilities since after the last elections in the country.

Last year, CARA Brazzaville of Congo complained about poor floodlights at the stadium during their CAF Confederation Cup clash at the venue.

Enyimba will now need to get a certification from FIFA before inspectors from CAF will approve the home ground to admit spectators for international matches.

Before CAF’s confirmation of the behind the door order, officials of the Aba club had began processing accreditation of sports journalists for the second leg, preliminary round clash with Rahimo FC of Burkina Faso.

The People’s Elephant lost the first leg away 1-0 a fortnight ago through an Issouf Zanon 30th minute volley that deflected off Ifeanyi Anaemena into Theophilus Afelokhai’s goal.

Enyimba FC’s Head Coach, Usman Abdallah, was however unfazed as he promised that his wards will overturn that defeat in the return leg on Sunday.

Abdallah insisted that the first leg defeat to Rahimo FC was just the start for the team but backs his team to grow well into the competition quickly and get themselves back once they become fitter and have more game experience together.

“We are all starting and results are always these way until we keep ourselves into the competition where we get much fitter.

“They have a youthful young team with very good mobility and techniques and they are very fit. We have seen the team now, the most important thing is to go back and sit down and work with what we’ve seen of the team,” stressed the gaffer.