OWERRI—The relegation of Heartland Football Club of Owerri, has been described as “a tragedy that could have been averted if the state government did the needful at the appropriate time”.
The immediate past Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Chief Emeka Ihedioha, made his feelings known in a press statement signed by his media aide, Mr. Chibuike Onyeukwu.
“This avoidable tragedy is indeed, a very sad moment in our sports history and should be a source of concern among sports lovers and the good people of Imo State in general,” Ihedioha said.
The former Deputy Speaker grieved that “whether as Spartans, Iwuanyanwu Nationale or Heartland, this Club has consistently remained the pride of Imo people.”
Chief Ihedioha expressed regret that “at a time the state ought to have been celebrating its 40th anniversary with nostalgic reflections of resilience, accomplishments and hope for a better future, Heartland FC lost its status in the elite league.”
While recalling that a state like Abia, “with lower federal allocations, has successfully maintained two clubs in the elite, the present administration in Imo State cannot manage the only one it inherited from its predecessors.”
It was the considered opinion of Ihedioha that “sports has suffered unbridled neglect since 2011,stressing that “a visit to Dan Anyiam Stadium Complex, Owerri, will give a true picture of the situation.”