9ja FlavourNigeria Professional Football League

Enugu Rangers General Manager confirms his registration as player for the rest of the season

Enugu Rangers FC is one of Nigeria’s most successful teams as it boasts an impressive record in Nigerian football, having clinched the NPFL title seven times and once triumphed in the CAF Champions League.

The club will pursue more success this season with a unique update that has the Clubs General manager registered for the league as an active player.

In a surprising move, Enugu Rangers’ coach, Fidelis Ilechukwu, has added the club’s Chief Executive Officer and General Manager to the squad list for the second half of the NPFL season.

Amobi Ezeaku, the club’s CEO, has been officially registered as a player for the remainder of the 2023/2024 NPFL season and was included in the matchday squad to face Niger Tornadoes. He will don the number eleven jersey.

This unprecedented shift from administrative duties to the playing field has sparked widespread discussions on social media, with many questioning the legality of the move by the Flying Antelopes.

Ezeaku, who possesses a background in football, explained in a conversation with Osasu Obayiuwana that the coach’s insistence prompted his return to active play.

“I’ve been training with the team. I play football. During the mid-season transfer, the coach felt that he needed me and pleaded with me to get registered. I’m in Kaduna and I may play in the second half. It’s up to the coach to play me. According to the coach, he has not seen a striker who scores goals the way I score goals. I love this game, the fact that I am the club chairman does not ban me from playing,” shared the General Manager.

While Ezeakwu’s situation may seem unprecedented, it echoes a similar occurrence in the Nigerian League involving Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, who represented Bendel Insurance and even aided in their promotion to the Nigerian top-flight league in the 2021/2022 season before announcing his retirement at the age of 52.

For Ezeakwu, assuming the dual roles of player and CEO does not present a conflict of interest, as his passion for the game transcends his administrative duties.

“There is no conflict. I was born to love football and I will die loving this game. I know the power of the coach, and on the field, he is in charge. In training, I’m there on time, I listen to them. It’s about the game we love. His decision is not influenced; if he has to take me off, I go off,” asserted Amobi.

Enugu Rangers currently occupy the third position on the NPFL table, trailing just two points behind the league leaders. Under Fidelis Ilechukwu’s management, they have secured twelve victories and seven draws this season.

Meanwhile, in their most recent engagement, Rangers defeated Niger Tornadoes 0-2 in Kaduna to keep up their winning run.

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