Organisers of the 4th Edition of the annual Tico/Select Preseason Football Tournament have expressed grave shock over the decision of Rangers International FC to pull out of the tournament currently going on in Enugu, South East State, Nigeria.
On Thursday, Rangers were slated to play their semi final match against Apex Krane but the match could not hold after the Flying Antelopes ‘shockingly’ announced their decision to exit the tournament.
Organisers felt hard done by the action of the NPFL side who threw due process to the winds while arriving at their decision.
The organisers in a statement said they could not come to terms with the reality of Rangers failing to follow due process and professionalism in their action.
They believe that it was unprofessional for the Flying Antelopes to Channel whatever grievances they have with the organisers through the appropriate quarters and best professional global practices.
“It’s not the best for us to read about Rangers withdrawal through the media”, the statement signed by Ifeanyi Ekwueme, a former Nigeria international, read in part.
“Rangers played all their group matches and were supposed to play Apex Krane Thursday afternoon in the second semi final but rather than honour the fixture, went to media to announce their decision to pull out.
“Apex Krane played their last group match on Wednesday, defeating Ingas Sports Club 2-1 to set the stage for Thursday’s semi final fixture against Rangers.
“It’s unfortunate that rather than honour the semi final match, Rangers decided to withdraw without communicating the organisers”, the statement concluded while wishing the Coal City Flying Antelopes the best.
The organisers felt at a loss as to why Rangers could decide to toe the path of name calling.
“Rangers is a club dear to the heart of every Nigerian football fan.
“This love was earned by dint of hard work and one expects the best professional practices by the hierarchy of the club.
“After playing all their group (B) matches, and qualified for the semi final, they needed to play their group A opponents, Apex Krane on Thursday.
“But if they decide to pull out, we wish them well but it’s not fair for their resort to castigate the organisers by calling them names”.