Kano Pillars have attributed their failure in this season’s CAF Champions League to the armed robbery attack they experienced in March.
The team were on their way to play an away Premier League match in Imo state against Heartland Football Club when they were attacked and robbed on March 5.
In a chat with PREMIUM TIMES, the team’s captain, Theophilus Afelokhai, said that the players were psychologically affected by the incident. He said the fact that their key players were missing was also one of the reasons they could not pull through at the continental tournament;
“The robbery contributed to our loss,” Theophilus said. “We have lost about five of our key players who are still receiving treatments as I am talking to you. The players are still scared and I am still talking to some of them to concentrate. It is not easy to move on from such an attack on us. It is very disturbing.
“The attack was too much. Many have never experienced such a thing before, especially the new players that recently joined, and they were greatly affected.”
The captain also suggested other factors that could have contributed to their early exit from the competition.
“Well, we lost the first leg but we tried,” he said. “The match time was also changed from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
“Travelling did not make it easy for us as well. The truth is that we did not make use of all the chances that we created and they used that advantage over us.”
When asked if the players were treated by a psychologist after the attack, Theophilus said, “Nobody is talking to us to check our psychological state. We all believe what has happened has happened but we will concentrate and keep on getting better in the league.”
He added that “Gambo Mohammed and Terfa Energy who are badly injured are still receiving treatments.”
Although the team won 2-1 at the Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano on April 4, it was not enough as they had earlier been trashed 4-0 in the away fixture by Moghreb Tetouan football club of Morocco in the first leg a fortnight earlier.
The reigning Nigeria League champions were attacked on March 5 along Abaji-Lokoja road with some players sustaining various degrees of injuries.
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