The management of Rangers International F.C, Enugu has debunked claims of a purported plan for a peaceful demonstration by players of the club as the club is currently preparing seriously for the round of 64, Aiteo/Federation cup match against either Klarai United F.C of Jigawa or ABJ F.C of Bauchi scheduled for the Goal Project pitch of Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja.
In a statement by the Administrative Secretary of the club, Barrister Ferdinand Ugwuarua, and made available to members of the sporting media by the Media Officer, Comrade Norbert Okolie, stated that the planned peaceful demonstration was been planned by former players of the team who are pushing for the fulfillment of a promise said to have made by Enugu state government after emerging champions of NPFL in 2016.
According to the Administrative Secretary, “To the best of my knowledge, no club player is involved in the planned ‘Peaceful Demonstration’. We have a set of committed and disciplined players that have been training ahead of our Aiteo Cup round of 64 matches in Abuja.”
The young club scribe said, “The information gaining ground in several social media platforms of players of the ‘Flying Antelopes’ going on a peaceful demonstration is false. What we have is a group of former players of the club that were in the NPFL 2016 trophy-winning team and have served out their contracts are the ones pushing for the fulfillment of promises said to have been made to them by the state government.”
Barrister Ugwuarua further stated, “When we came on board, the issue of government’s promise to the team had already taken place and I must say that we have been getting the right attention from the government of H.E, Rt. Hon. (Dr.) Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi with regards to proper motivation for players and officials.”
The club management having done all legitimate inquiries does state categorically that;
1. Among promises made to the team at a reception in honor of the 2016 NPFL winning team, players and officials were handed a cash gift of at least, N500,000.00 (Five hundred thousand naira only) each and it’s our belief that whatever is left of the promises is still within the considerations of the government of the sports-loving governor, H.E, Rt. Hon. (Dr.) Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.
2. Whatever promise that was made by the government will, hopefully, be redeemed at its convenience by the state as the government is a continuum as we recently witnessed when the Federal Government made good its promise to the 1994 AFCON winning team.
3. Late coach Chukwuma Agbo and Ifeanyi George (May God continue to grant their sporting souls, eternal rest) were well taken care of even in death and it is our belief that whenever any remaining promise is fulfilled, their families will be contacted while it is on record that Rangers International F.C remains the only club to have paid out the sum of N20,000,000.00 (Twenty Million Naira Only) as Insurance benefit to the family of late Ifeanyi George through the instrumentality of the government of Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.
4. For Ifeanyi Egwim and Chidiebere Okolie both former dedicated players of the club, at the moment of their injuries, they were never abandoned as the governor of the state personally supervised the treatment, rehabilitation, and return to active football by Egwim who had a fracture in the final match of that season and directed that his salaries of over half a million naira continue to run for four seasons until he was laid off for anti-club activities a few seasons back.
5. Rangers place a high premium on players and official’s welfare and can boast of the fact that salaries, bonuses, and other sundry motivational packages are paid as and when due so, the statement that players that featured in the title-winning season are in bad shape does not hold water as it is not the job of the management or government to manage the finances of a professional player.
“For clarity, let it be known that the players of Rangers International F.C are fully concentrated on the task at hand this weekend in Abuja as the players and coaches are putting the final touches on their preparation for the Aiteo cup 2022 encounter, and no player is owed salary, clearance fee or match bonus since the 2017/2018 season”,