The fate of Enyimba International in the CAF Confederation Cup is unclear for now having been ‘walked-over’ in their rescheduled game against Libyan club, Al Ittihad, over the weekend.
Enyimba who are Nigeria’s sole surviving team on the continent were absent on Sunday at the Benina Martyrs Stadium in Benghazi to face their opponents.
The People’s Elephant had requested for a postponement of the problematic fixture but was turned down by their hosts.
The problematic tie is the first leg playoff; preceding the group stage of the second-tier club competition.
Originally fixed for November 28, Enyimba could not honour the game at the first instance.
Due to strict COVID-19 protocols, they were denied entrance into Tunisia following Al Ittihad’s change of venue at short notice.
Enyimba’s protest on the development was upheld as CAF agreed to move the game to a later date while the second leg went on as scheduled in Aba.
Enyimba won that second leg 2-0 and while CAF announced that the botched first leg should be played on the weekend of December 17-19, the Nigerian flagbearers appealed for an outright cancellation or game to be moved to a neutral venue outside Libya.
Last Thursday, CAF rejected Enyimba’s request to either cancel the match, play it on another ground than Libya, or postpone it to a later date.
Having rejected its request by CAF, Enyimba as directed put another request to Ittihad to postpone the match to the 31st of December, saying that 48 hours is not enough to arrange travelling procedures, including visas and airline tickets.
However, Ittihad has also rejected the Nigerian request and said there would be no postponement of the match.
While attempts by PREMIUM TIMES to have the Enyimba Chairman Felix Anyansi comment on the logjam were unsuccessful, an insider in the team suggests all hopes are not yet lost for the two-time African champions.
The source claimed CAF’s Disciplinary Committee will prevail on Ittihad to have the game played on December 31.
“No, you cannot say Enyimba is out, I know that CAF’s disciplinary committee has scheduled a meeting.
“They are the ones who will rule whether to award the tie to Al Ittihad or reschedule the match to December 31 as we have earlier requested,” the Enyimba official revealed.