Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) sides, Mountain of Fire Ministries (MFM) Football Club of Lagos and Enyimba International, are trading words over the alleged attack which trailed last Sunday’s match in Aba.
MFM FC in a press statement signed by their Media Officer, Olawale Quadri, claimed they were attacked in Aba at the stadium; adding that Felix Anyansi-Agwu, the chairman of Enyimba, was a party to the attack.
That claim has, however, been refuted by the Enyimba boss.
Sunday’s encounter between Enyimba and MFM, which the latter claimed was marred by assault, ended in a 2-1 win for the People’s Elephant, with the winning goal coming in the fifth minute of added-on time in the second half.
“Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Executive Member who doubles as the Chairman of Enyimba International, Chief Anyasi and his Officials, assaulted and harassed MFM FC Football Director, Barrister Davidson Adejuwon and the team’s goalkeeper, Adeniyi Bamidele,” the statement issued by MFM FC read in part.
“I was assaulted by Enyimba Officials yesterday, who pushed me in the chest in the presence of Chief Anyasi, who could not but joined his men to harass me in the presence of my welfare officer, while I was attempting to address my Players before the match,” Director of Football, MFM FC also said in the issued statement.
He continued: “The attack from Chief Anyasi against my person continued as he returned to his seat. All these I faced at Enyimba because I raised the issue of 30% fan capacity and ticket sales which was never communicated to other clubs, particularly MFM FC.
“The Match Officials were put under all sorts of pressure by Chief Anyasi and his bodyguards to favour Enyimba which they eventually did and I won’t blame them.
“Chief Anyansi personally held and harassed the 4th Match Official, along with his bodyguards from raising the four additional minutes as instructed by the CR.
“Chief Anyansi and his goons successfully took full two additional minutes after the regulated 90 minutes and forced the CR to abandon the game, and succumbed to his pressure before they allowed the 4th Official to raise the additional time, which was eventually changed to five minutes, plus the two minutes they took while the 4th official was being held to ransom.
“Anyansi violently forced the match that should ordinarily end at 94 minutes to 98 minutes (with palpable fear on the face of the Referees) till they got their 2nd goal”
MFM implored the League Management Company and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Disciplinary Committee to look into this act, which they noted is capable of destroying the beautiful game of Football in Nigeria and act according to the rule book.
On his part, the accused Enyimba chairman insists that the allegations against his person were all fabricated and also demanded verifiable evidence for all the allegations.
“How can we assault a team we neither lost nor even drew with, it doesn’t just add up,” Mr Anyansi told PREMIUM TIMES over the phone.
“Ordinarily, I didn’t want to stoop low to start joining issues with MFM but if I keep quiet, it would look like what they are saying is true
“Enyimba won the match 2-1, even though one of our goals was disallowed by the referee and we did not complain”
“The video is there for all to see and judge, we have had up to five teams that came to Aba and pick points but nobody talked of them being attacked, so why would we decide to attack the MFM team that we have actually beaten already,” Anyansi asked rhetorically.
“If MFM have any evidence of where I or any Enyimba official attacked them, they should take it to the appropriate quarters. We did not attack them,” the Enyimba boss insisted.
The win for Enyimba last Sunday meant they are still in with a mathematical shout of catching league leaders, Akwa United, who have 67 points to Enyimba’s 61 with three matches left in the season.
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