Following Nigeria Football Federation’s decision to dump Abia Angels out of the Aiteo Cup due to the club fielding an ineligible player in their quarter-final victory over Confluence Queens, Chairman Abia Angels Football Club, Rolland Gbaruko has confirmed the club will contest the decision.
Abia Angels were scheduled to play against Ibom Angels in the semi final first leg on Saturday in Uyo after qualifying ahead of Confluence Queens.
Angels defeated the Queens 1-0 in their quarter final first-leg in Umuahia and both teams fought out a 2-2 draw in the return leg in Lokoja with the Umuahia based team progressing 3-2 on aggregate.
Gbaruko was left confused after the Organizing Committee of the 2017 AITEO Cup on Thursday threw out his club citing a protest lodged by Confluence Queens of Lokoja on the grounds of player ineligibility.
“I don’t understand why this action has been taken by NFF. I played the match against Confluence Queens in Lokoja with registered players,” Gbaruko said to Naijafootballplus. “The player in question ‘Martha Peter’ is a registered player of Abia Angels and the registeration was done by me. I wonder why NFF took such an action without hearing from us.”
“The match Commissioner seized 10 of our licences on that matchday in Lokoja and refused to return it to us. No protest was made by Confluence Queens before or after the match. I was called two days later to send my welfare officer to Lokoja to pick them up, a request I found disappointing. I called Emmanuel Adesanya and he promised to return our licences to us only to hear at 5pm today that we have been thrown out of the Aiteo Cup, it’s not done,” he lamented.
Gbaruko alongside some club officials and the alleged ineligible player Martha Peter are already on their way to Abuja on a night trip to protest the decision hoping it will be upturned.
“We are on our way already to Abuja to complain about the decision. We are appealing to NFF to postpone the game until the issue is resolved.”