Management

Sylvanus Okpala takes over relegation-threatened Enugu Rangers

Relegation-troubled Enugu Rangers have appointed former Super Eagles assistant coach Sylvanus Okpala as new coach, officials said.

Okpala takes over from Chukwuma Agbo, who has been in caretaker charge of the NPFL side since the contract of championship-winning coach Imama Amapakabo was terminated earlier this year.

Okpala was first linked with the post at the peak of Imama’s troubles at Rangers when they could only force a 2-2 draw with Zesco United of Zambia in a 2017 CAF Confederation Cup playoff.

He has captained the Super Eagles and played professionally in Portugal.

‘Quick Silver’ assisted Stephen Keshi when Nigeria won a third AFCON in 2013 in South Africa.

Rangers, who have never been relegated, are in the drop zone in 17th place on the NPFL table with 39 points from 31 matches.

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Enugu Govt Denies Sacking of Rangers Coach, Amapakabo

In a twist of fate, the Enugu State Government has debunked reports in the media suggesting that Rangers International FC coach, Mr Imama Amapakabo, has been sacked.

The Commissioner for Youths and Sports in the state, Mr Charles Ndukwe, made this clarification to journalists at the end of the State Executive Council meeting held at Government House, Enugu Wednesday.

He stated that Amapakabo was only suspended by the state government based on the club’s recent run of poor performance which was also evident in their home match, last Sunday, against Zesco United Football Club of Zambia. The match had ended 2 – 2 despite Rangers earlier taking a two-goal lead.

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 informed journalists that Chukwuma Agbo is presently 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.

Amapakabo, at the end of last season, became the beautiful bride of many prominent clubs both within and outside the country but chose to remain with the Enugu side whom he piloted to break the long-standing jinx of Enugu Rangers trophy drought by winning the Nigeria league.

However, the club as been a shadow of itself with the poor run so far in the league and also dropped from CAF Champions League cadre to the Confederation Cup in which they are on the verge of been eliminated following a 2-2 home draw with visiting Zesco United of Zambia.

Not even the three-match ultimatum handed to him during the poor run could change the fortune of the team following one home draw and two losses making just one point out of nine.

Source: https://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2017/04/13/enugu-govt-denies-sacking-of-rangers-coach-amapakabo/

LMC debits El Kanemi, Rangers to settle ailing Emeteole

Odiye, others rally support for coach
The League Management Company (LMC) yesterday revealed that it has deducted some amount of money from the sum accruing to Enugu Rangers and El Kanemi Warriors from sponsorship income to settle the debts the clubs owe bedridden Coach Kelechi Emeteole.

According to the LMC, the said amount represents salary claims by the coach on the two clubs, adding that it made the payment which will now be deducted from the clubs’ Annual Basic Award.

In a letter conveying the payment to Emeteole through his wife, Phoebe, LMC Chairman, Shehu Dikko informed the family that the payment was made to their United Bank of Africa account and also notified them that the LMC was in contact with a group of former player colleagues of the coach based in the United States, led b y Godwin Odiye, who are also launching a fundraising campaign for Emeteole.

“I wish to formally notify you that following our previous discussion, … has now been paid into your bank account, the details of which were provided us by your wife, Mrs. Phoebe Emeteole”, the LMC wrote in the letter signed by Dikko.He explained that the LMC were unable to reach Heartland as the club was at the end of last season relegated from the NPFL.

The LMC actually made the payments and would deduct the said money from the two clubs when making the payout due to NPFL clubs from sponsorship incomes.

“Please note that this total sum consists of money being owed by El-Kanemi Warriors and Rangers International. We have been constrained in reaching Heartland FC for the similar purpose as the club is no longer in the NPFL”, Dikko explained.

Odiye, a teammate of Emeteole in the 1980 Nations Cup winning Green Eagles communicated the fundraising effort to the LMC through another former international and former Director General, National Sports Commission, Dr. Patrick Ekeji, who also was in the 1980 victorious squad.

Source: https://guardian.ng/sport/lmc-debits-el-kanemi-rangers-to-settle-ailing-emeteole/

CAF Championship: Enugu to demolish illegal structures at Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium

By Chinedu Adonu

AHEAD of the on-going CAF Championship to be played between Nigeria’s representative, Enugu Rangers Intenational Football Club and the J.S Saoura of Algeria on Sunday, February 19, 2017, Enugu State Government may demolish illegal structures at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, venue of the match. Commissioner for Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority, ECTDA, Mr. Chidi Aroh who hinted that the illegal structures might be demolished, said that the illegal structures defaced the aesthetics of the Stadium and as such constituted an eyesore.

Aroh who conducted newsmen round the stadium to witness the illegal structures that tended to threaten the stadium to the extent that it could bring a collapse of the edifice, said that his Ministry had informed the owners of structures to desist from further construction and the demolish forthwith the existing structures , lamented that since November last year they marked the structures for removal, the owners have remained adamant, hence the need to have them demolished. The Commissioner said that when CAF officials came for inspection of facilities at the Stadium last year ahead of the Championship, the state government had signed an undertaking that before the tournament, the illegal structures would have been removed and the Stadium put in the proper shape for the championship. It could be recalled that NFF had threatened that unless the obsolete facilities at the Stadium were put in place, the CAF championship and even local matches may not be played at the Stadium, hence the Enugu State Government efforts to put the Stadium in order ahead of the continental meet. The Commissioner who was conducted round the stadium by the Chairman of Enugu FA,

It could be recalled that NFF had threatened that unless the obsolete facilities at the Stadium were put in place, the CAF championship and even local matches may not be played at the Stadium, hence the Enugu State Government efforts to put the Stadium in order ahead of the continental meet. The Commissioner who was conducted round the stadium by the Chairman of Enugu FA, Mr. Chidi Ejiofor Okenwa, pointed out that toilets and conveniences at the Stadium have been converted to shops and other business ventures other than the recreational facility for which it was meant for. Aroh lamented that the worst part of the illegal structures at the Stadium is that people built lock up shops on top of sewage facilities at the Stadium, there forcing those using the Stadium to seek conveniences elsewhere. “This is one of the most important place I have brought you here today. This is the greatest disaster because there are built on sewage.

We had an undertaking with CAF that we’ll put the place in order before the championship,” Aroh said and lamented that the stores and shops were allocated to government officials few days before the present administration came to power and wondered why people sane enough should built in such places. “The structures were allocated seven days before the present administration took over and they all have allocation letters. The Commissioner said that the demolition might take place in order to save lives and property at the Stadium because such structures might add load to the Stadium and bring about its collapse. He noted that though the cost of demolition might be much and cost

“The structures were allocated seven days before the present administration took over and they all have allocation letters. The Commissioner said that the demolition might take place in order to save lives and property at the Stadium because such structures might add load to the Stadium and bring about its collapse. He noted that though the cost of demolition might be much and cost government a fortune but that saving life far outweighs the money to be expended on the demolition in order to save life. Aroh pointed out that Rangers was the darling team of not only Enugu people but the entire Igbo race and for this reason, they cannot afford to loose hosting the CAF Championship because of the handiwork of some undesirable element that trespassed where they should not.

Source: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/02/caf-championship-enugu-demolish-illegal-structures-nnamdi-azikiwe-stadium/

Enugu sacks Rangers GM, hands office to Christian Chukwu

Source: Guardian.NG

Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, yesterday announced the appointment of former Captain and Coach of Enugu Rangers International, Christian Chukwu, as the General Manager and Chief Executive Officer of the club.

Chukwu’s appointment, which is with immediate effect, sees him taking over from former General Manager, Ozo Chibuzor.The decision to sack Ozo and appoint Chukwu was reached after a fact-finding meeting with the board, management, players, supporters club and other stakeholders of the club.

The Guardian gathered that the meeting unanimously agreed that there was the need for a change in the management of the club to enable it continue its winning streak.

 The decision, it was further gathered, was not unconnected with the unimpressive performance of the club in the on-going season. Stakeholders have so far expressed concern over the results in the league matches involving the club, which will represent Nigeria in this year’s CAF Champions League.Ozo had for sometime been engaged in running battles, especially with supporters of the club, who blame him for the club’s poor showings.

In fact, last year, supporters were forced to engage in protests over his leadership style and had called for his replacement.Although things normalized when the club started winning her matches to the point of taking the 2016 professional league title, signs that all was not well manifested during the reception for the club held at Okpara Square a few weeks ago, where his name was conspicuously missing in the list of officials, players and management of the club in the brochure for the event.

Ozor, who was at the event, was never recognized, a development that sent tongues wagging as to what government intended to do with him.Yesterday also, the governor, who announced his removal, did not applaud him for the services to the club.

Reacting to the development, the new General Manager, Chukwu, thanked the governor for the appointment and promised to put in his best to ensure that Rangers retained its current status in Nigerian football.

He called for the cooperation and support of the board, management, players and all other stakeholders of the club to take it to an enviable height.