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‘Nigerian clubs need better funding, facilities to compete with North Africa’s’
Enyimba of Aba FC Chairman, Chief Felix Anyansi-Agwu, believes North African teams will continue to dominate CAF inter-club competitions with their superior financial muscle and their ability to get the necessary logistics better than counterparts from other parts of the continent.
Since Enyimba won the CAF Champions League back-to-back in 2003 and 2004, no other West African team has won the continent’s most prestigious club competition.
Apart from T.P Mazembe and Mamelodi Sundowns, no other team south of the Sahara has won the competition.
Speaking on the failure of Nigerian teams to win the CAF Champions League and Confederation Cup, Anyansi said the clubs need better financing and top-quality facilities to compete with the North Africans, adding that players need more than their skills to succeed in international football.
Anyansi, who said Enyimba’s management is striving to put the team at par with their counterparts in other parts of the world, added that the Aba Elephants’ target is to excel in the 2020/2021 CAF Champions League.
He noted Enyimba’s position as one of the most dreaded clubs in Africa, adding that to maintain the reputation the club has continually rejigged their operations, including bring in quality players and providing a conducive environment for them to excel.
“Private companies, government, and well-meaning people in North African countries invest well in their clubs.
“How can you compete with a club that flies their players and officials with private Jets to every away game. They pay their players well and also have enough money to get the best players in Africa.
“Nigerian clubs need more sponsors to support them during CAF Champions League games.
“Enyimba have been performing well in CAF competitions because of sacrifices by some people. But we are not relenting in our efforts.
“Our goal is to reach the same height achieved by top North Africa teams, who I must say, are always scared of meeting us.”
Anyansi urged government at all levels, corporate bodies, and sports-loving Nigerians to buy into the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) to put it at par with competitions in the more advanced countries.
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