The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has come down hard on the management of Rangers Football Club of Enugu for the team’s disappointing outing in the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) Cup campaign.
The Flying Antelopes were knocked out by Zesco United in their play-off second leg at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium, Ndola, Zambia last weekend. The Nigerian side went down 0-3 to crash out on 5-2 aggregate. Rangers had squandered a 2-0 lead in the first leg to draw 2-2 two week ago in Enugu.
Speaking with The Guardian, the Chairman of Technical and Development Committee of NFF, Chris Green, said that it was disappointing Rangers could not live up to its rating as champions of the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) in CAF competitions this year.
“We are so disappointed with Rangers because they were Nigeria’s flagbearers in the competition. As champions of the NPFL, one should have expected that a team like Rangers should be able to do well in the continent. They crashed out of the CAF Champions League at the early stage and now from the CAF Confederation Cup at the play off stage. It does not tell good story about our league.
“This is not the first time Nigerian clubs are having this kind of poor run in CAF competitions. For the past three seasons our clubs have never advanced from the group stage. Now, all hands must be on deck to ensure that we have a good representative in CAF competitions at the end of our league. From the LMC to the referees, things must be done properly. The idea of a club winning the league only to become a laughing stock in CAF competitions is not good for our football. We have to tell ourselves the bitter truth.”
“As I said, the LMC and the referees must be up and doing in making sure only the best clubs emerge winner at the end of the season. If a referee goes out of his way to assist a club to win the league, such favour from a home referee will not be there by the time such a club face a team from another country. That is what is happening to our clubs, and it has to stop.”
Green also slammed the management of Rangers for not setting up what he described as ‘proper management culture’ for the club.