Some of the ex-Rangers International FC of Enugu players have called on Gov. Chukwuma Soludo to give Anambra a football club, that will befit the status of the state.
The veterans made the call in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka on Monday.
They expressed worry about the alleged Soludo’s silence on sports since he assumed office.
The Chairman of the Anambra chapter of the group, Arthur Ebunam, said the sports community in the state was still waiting for Soludo’s policy direction in sports.
Ebunam said it was a “crying shame” that Anambra did not have a football team, in spite of being home to some of Nigeria’s best players.
The CKC ’77 World Academical winning player said sports remain veritable strategy for fighting crime and restiveness.
He, therefore, urged the governor to explore the opportunities that abound in sports “because of the number of youths involved”.
He said: “We have a problem in our hands here in Anambra. “We have a beautiful stadium but no team to play in it.
“Anambra is not the poorest state in the country but some have two teams and a female team but we don’t have any.
“The governor should establish one so that our people can have something to cheer for.
“I don’t know what the governor is doing in sports.
“It has been about three months since he was sworn in but nothing is happening in sports, unlike other sectors.
“Checkout the crowd that comes to the stadium on any Rangers’ match day.
“People come to display skills, others come to watch, while some get their breakthrough from there,” Ebunam said.
Also, Paul Obiako, an ex-Rangers goaltender, described the Awka Township Stadium as a good investment.
Obiako, however, regretted that the facility had remained untapped because of alleged government’s inability to put it to effective use.
He lauded the arrangement that brought Rangers to adopt the stadium but argued that Anambra people deserved a team of their own.
He said that the sports community in Anambra had yet to feel the impact of the administration in the sector, which he described as “critical for youth management.
“We have been praying to have a sports-loving governor, who will give Anambra a befitting team.
“We have the facilities. There is a world class pitch but I do not know why we should not have a football team.
“It is very unfortunate that we come here to see good matches but don’t own any.
“As a former Rangers player, I love to see them play and win.
“That is the team that made me. It is always a nostalgic experience for me,” Obiako said.
Another veteran, Victor Nwangwu, expressed surprise that Soludo had yet to make public pronouncement on sports development.
Nwangwu, who is a sports administrator, said that sport is for leisure, business, fitness activities, crime control and public relations enterprise for any government.
“Government has a responsibility to develop the best talents in all sectors, including sports.
“We are known for our athleticism and contributions to sports, the state occupies a pride of place in Nigerian sports.
“Across Nigeria, all the clubs that are thriving over the years are government-owned.
“Some states have more than one club, Rangers FC for instance has been there for decades.
“So why is the Anambra case different?
“Families have been liberated from poverty as a result of these government investments.
“There is no club anywhere in this country that you won’t find Anambra indigenes.
“We can form five clubs that can comfortably sustain themselves simultaneously.
“The governor should come up with a comprehensive sports policy. We need a state-owned club,” Nwangwu said.