All Nigerian teams participating in the on-going Africa Cup for Club Hockey Championship have been reduced to mere participants, as none is yet find its bearing in the continental tournament holding at the Hockey Complex in Package B of Abuja National Stadium.Four teams – Niger Flickers and Kada Stars in the men category, while Delta and Kada Queens are the country’s flag bearers in the female category at the continental club championship.
Kada Queens suffered 2-0 defeat to Ghana Police team yesterday, a few minutes after the Delta Queens were battered 4-1 by youthful Telkom team from Kenya. Earlier, both female teams drew their games against GRA of Ghana and USIU of Kenya. The Delta Queens versus Kada Queens also ended goalless.
In the men’s category, Niger Flickers suffered a humiliating 4-0 to Eastern Co of Egypt. The Nigerians were also defeated 4-2 by GRA of Ghana before going down 4-2 to the rampaging El-Sharkia of Egypt yesterday.
Kada Stars on the other hand, earlier bowed 1-0 to Exchequers of Ghana before they were massacred 7-1 by El-Sharkia of Egypt.Team Delta coach, Adeoye Jacob told The Guardian that his team put up a strong fight, but their efforts were not good enough to save them against their opponents in the matches played so far.
“Though we’ve lost a match, what is keeping us is the passion in the players and their determination. They were not motivated. The players are living on a N1,000 per day in an international assignment,” coach Jacob stated.
Narrating his players’ ordeal, Jacob said they kept vigil Saturday before their first match, which they drew 1-1 against USIU of Kenya. We left our camp at the University of Abuja where we were camped for the just concluded 19th National Sports Festival for the Package B, where we have been squatting because there was no provision for descent accommodation.
“Our preparation for this Africa Cup for Club Champions was faulty. If our proposal to camp in Abuja for both the Festival and this continental championship were considered, we would have improved with the calibre of players that I have assembled. Instead of approving our Abuja training tour, we were taken to Warri, where the artificial turf was no different from sand dunes,” coach Jacob stated.