By Dayo Johnson
Akure—ONDO State government yesterday alleged that no fewer than 20 players and supporters of Sunshine Star Football Club were weekend injured during the Saturday football competition in ljebu- Ode, Ogun State by thugs from Osun State.
According to Ondo state officials it might be a reprisal attack over thugs rough-handling of the Osun State Regional Integration Commissioner, Bola llori last Wednesday in Akure during a meeting of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
According to them, those injured were in Ijebu Ode, Ogun state, for the return leg of the Confederation Cup with the Osun State-owned United football Club.
Speaking during a Press conference in Akure, the Commissioner for information Yemi Olowolabi and his Youth and Sport counterpart, Hon. Saka Yusuf Ogunleye, said the attack on the state football Club had been hatched before the last Saturday match.
Olowolabi and Ogunleye explained that the supporters of Osun State football stormed the venue of the match in over 40 buses and threatened the players, officials and supporters of the Sunshine Stars Football Club before the commencement of the match.
The commissioners said trouble started after the match ended 3-1 in favour of Sunshine Star FC, stressing that the Ondo team was caught unawares, thereby making many of them to sustain various degrees of injuries.
Ogunleye said; “The first half ended in a barren draw but when we resumed for the second half, Sunshine stars outscored the Osun United with three goals to one, which made the aggregate to stand at three goals to two, having defeated Sunshine earlier on Wednesday by a lone goal.
“But some few minutes before the end of the match, the Osun United supporters invaded the field, beating and harassing both the match officials and players and it took the intervention of the security operatives at the stadium to guard them out of the stadium.
“Most of the supporters, officials and fans were not so lucky as they were injured, matchetted, by the angry supporters from Osun, who seemed prepared for the onslaught, saying the media Officer of the Sunshine stars, Chris Okunnua, was not spare in the beating.”
Ogunleye said most of the injured were rushed to the hospital and treated while those with critical injuries were admitted at the hospital in Ijebu Ode.
He urged politicians not to transfer the hostilities in politics to sports, urging well meaning Nigerians to wade into the matter before it escalates to political fight between the two state.