By Patrick Omorodion

I had decided I’ll not write on the Sunday Mba saga again after speaking with Amaju Pinnick, Chairman of Warri Wolves Football Club who told me that someone within the football or league house contributed to the mess in the Mba transfer issue.

When pressed to mention the culprit so that the matter could be trashed once and for all, Pinnick said they, at Warri Wolves, would not want anybody to lose his job. At this stage I said, then there is no need writing or talking about the issue again.

I have decided to break that self imposed ban because of the reaction of one of the country’s most respected football administrators and analysts, Pa John Ojidoh who reacted from his Illah base in Delta State the other day.

To Pa Ojidoh, Mba belongs to Warri Wolves based on the documents he saw but I must say here that those documents were not fool proof as some were plain sheets while the player’s signature were not appended on the so-called contract papers.

We should not duel so much on the so-called contracts entered into between Mba and Rangers on one hand and Mba and Warri Wolves on the other because most, if not all football clubs in Nigeria, have no genuine contracts with players or coaches.

One thing I will make bold to say here is that from the presentation by the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, Rangers, Warri Wolves and even the League body, not the one now being managed by Nduka Irabor, are all culpable in the transfer mess which has really exposed our football system as very corrupt.

Let me begin with both Wolves and Rangers. Why would Warri Wolves pay Rangers for a player and the money is not paid into the club’s account but into the personal account of an official of Rangers?  If the transfer money was really paid, was  it receipted and by whom, Rangers or the official into whose account the money was paid?

Why would Warri Wolves connive with a Rangers official to transfer the club’s money into a wrong account? Why was the NFF or the NPL, as the case may be, not notified about the ‘deal’ ? We know that when a player is properly transferred, before he starts playing for his new club, the transfer documents are deposited with the league body. We were told by the NFF investigation panel that Mba’s transfer papers from Rangers were not ‘domiciled’ with the league body.

If so, how come Mba was cleared to play for Warri Wolves? Or is it possible the NPL was not aware of the transfer? It then means there are many more Mbas who are illegally playing for clubs in the league without proper transfer and documentation.

If we may ask, who is this Rangers official who denied the Enugu club their transfer fee and why have the authorities not taken up the matter till now? Is it possible that a bigger amount was announced as Mba’s transfer fee and a little was actually paid into the club official’s account and the balance kept by Warri Wolves officials? Nigerians need to know.

Coming to the NFF, the football body is as confused if not more confused than both clubs who are trying to hide something from Nigerians on the Mba messy transfer deal. If not why would the NFF in  a space of  four months, state that Mba belongs to both Warri Wolves and Rangers.

In January when the final list of players who were selected for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations was released by the NFF, Mba was listed as a Rangers player. The list was public knowledge and Warri Wolves cannot claim not to have seen it and yet they never complained or protested.

Could it be that then they felt Mba was no longer relevant in their plans for the league and were happy to lose him to Ranger? Spokesman of Warri Wolves, Moses Etu,  in one of his reactions told journalists that they allowed Mba to go because they really didn’t need him anymore. Then too, he failed to say that the player had not been paid salary for about three months before he left for Rangers.

The NFF confirmed their confused state when during the week, a list of 30 players invited by Super Eagles chief coach, Stephen Keshi was released and they listed Mba as a Warri Wolves player. Why the volte face? Somebody is hiding something in the NFF hence after their investigation, both clubs were asked to go and settle the rift and come out with an acceptable  transfer fee for the player or they will fix it by themselves. That is a decision of a culpable body, pure and simple.

The Mba saga has not only damaged the player’s reputation but has put Nigeria in general as not only  a disorganised country but a corrupt one too. The earlier the mess is cleared and the culprits sanctioned, the better for our football and image as a country,.

On Yobo and Keshi

One feels that after the Emmanuel Emenike complain, Stephen Keshi should  have found a way to relate well with his players instead of tearing themselves apart on daily basis via the news media, like the present drama being displayed by Eagles captain, Joseph Yobo.

One thing is however clear here, no one player is indispensable. Osaze Odemwingie was dropped from the Eagles and he thought the team would fail but it turned out opposite.

Again people are saying that Yobo is needed in the team for his experience and all worth not. How much value did he add to the Nations Cup triumph but he still benefited all the same. Yobo has a clear agenda, that is to continue to extend his record of most capped Eagles in history. But must it be at the country’s detriment.


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