The Enugu State Government yesterday debunked reports suggesting that Rangers International FC Coach, Mr. Imama Amapakabo, has been sacked. The clarification came just as Rangers were preparing to fly off to Zambia today for the second leg of their CAF confederation Cup tie against Zesco United.
The first leg of the tie ended 2-2 in Enugu on Sunday.
Speaking on the state of the team at the end of the state’s executive council meeting at Government House, Enugu yesterday, Youth and Sports Commissioner, Mr. Charles Ndukwe said Amapakabo was only suspended by the state government based on the club’s recent run of poor performance, which was also evident in the game against Zesco United.
Noting that a sack letter could not have been issued to the coach without the state government’s consent, the commissioner said, “the general manager has no right to sack a coach and Enugu State government cannot take an abnormal action.”
He disclosed that Mr. Chukwuma Agbo is currently the chief coach of the club, adding that Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi is interested in the welfare of the club and will do everything possible to restore its glory.
Meanwhile, Rangers are expected to depart today for Ndola, Zambia for the second leg tie against the Zesco United.
Rangers’ General Manager, Christian Chukwu, who has urged the team to forget the 2-2 draw in Enugu and focus on the away encounter, wants the players to see Saturday’s second leg as an opportunity that could advance them in the competition.
In a statement from the Club’s Public Relations Officer, Foster Chime, Chukwu, who insisted that the second encounter was an opportunity to change the course of the tie, added, “we should use it to restore the pride and image of the club, as well as Enugu and Nigeria in general.”
The former Green Eagles Captain restated the state government’s commitment in sustaining the improved welfare of the players and officials, urging the team to reciprocate the gesture by advancing to the next stage of the competition.
The 28-man contingent, comprising 18 players, six technical crew, three management members and an official of the NFF, will depart the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu aboard an Ethiopian airline flight at about 12.50 p.m.; today.
The match is slated for Saturday by 3.00 pm.
Chime said Rangers’ defender, Pape Sane Ousmane, is out of the second leg match because of the two yellow cards he picked in previous matches.