By Jacob Ajom
Chairman of Heartland Football Club of Owerri, Ignatius Okeahialam has thrown more light on why the club could not meet a lot of expectations in the 2010 football season and its subsequent elimination from the 2010 CAF Champions League.
Speaking soon after the team’s return from Egypt after crashing out of the continent’s most lucrative club championship, Okeahialam said the club’s travails began when they failed to win the champions league last year after falling to T P Mazembe in the fianl.
“We could not recover early from the disappointment of that loss to Mazembe. It was a big blow to both players and officials,” the club boss said, emphasising, “it took us quite a while to recover from that shock and that, more than anything was responsible for our poor showing.”
He would not agree with claims that Heartland did not do well this season. “Yes we could not win the champions league but we were not the worst team in the competition. In sports, you win some and lose some. We did the best we could under the circumstances.”
Speaking on the issue of players’ outstanding entitlements, Okeahialam said, “when people talk on this matter you would think Heartland was the only club in Nigeria owing players. I don’t think we have done badly in this respect. Yes, we are owing but efforts are on to pay the outstanding money due the players.”