Tragedy struck Nigerian football yesterday as two Enugu Rangers’ players and one of their friends died in a ghastly auto crash. The players, Ifeanyi George, who is a top striker in the senior team, and Emmanuel Ogbu, who plays in the junior team, met their untimely death on their way to Lagos yesterday morning at Abudu, a boundary community between Delta and Edo states.
Another occupant of the vehicle they were traveling in, identified as a friend to Ifeanyi, also died in the accident. The private car they were traveling in was said to have rammed into an abandoned truck, killing the three occupants on the spot.
The club’s Media/Communication Officer, Norbert Okolie, who confirmed the incident, said after visiting the hospital morgue where the bodies were deposited, that they received the incident with shock.
He attributed the accident to “loss of control,” stressing that the incident was a big blow on the club as the late George was a top striker. He revealed that Rangers’ management on Friday approved a 10-day break for the players following the four-week suspension of all football activities by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
General Manager of the club, Davidson Owumi had while announcing the break, urged the Enugu Rangers’ players to be conscious of the health situations around them during the period.
Owumi said: “This break is necessitated by the suspension order by the NFF on all football activities in the country and management in its wisdom wants its players to be with their various families in this challenging health period.
“It is our belief that the players would maintain a high level of discipline and return after the break stronger to challenge for a top finish in the season.”Reacting to the incident, the NFF tweeted that it was shocked by the news, adding, “May their souls rest in peace.
“Our prayers and thoughts are with their families and Rangers’ Mgt.” Chairman of the League Management Company (LMC), Shehu Dikko also expressed shock at the accident involving CHAN Eagles International, Ifeanyi George.
Dikko, who contacted the club’s management on getting the report of the accident, commiserated with the side, team members and fans of the Enugu based club as well as the player’s immediate family.
“We sympathize with the club at this trying time and pray for the repose of his soul and wish the injured ones a speedy recovery”, the LMC Chairman told the club’s team manager, Amobi Ezeaku and coach, Salisu Yusuf in the phone call. He urged all Nigeria Football Professional League (NPFL) stakeholders to take all necessary precautions to stay safe amidst the growing Corona Virus Disease (COVID 19) pandemic.
“It is instructive that we should as much as is possible limit our movements, restrict social contacts and adhere to health protocols set out by relevant global, national and state agencies for the containment of COVID 19”, Dikko appealed.
The player was said to be returning to Lagos to spend the break announced by the club following the suspension of NPFL matches.LMC said it was in contact with the club to await further details of the incident.