•Rangers dare Wolves
By MADUABUCHI KALU
As the tussle for ownership of the 19th edition of CAF Nations Cup revelation, Sunday Mba, gets hotter, Enugu Rangers players’ agent, Mr Friday Nwankwo Kujah, has challenged the management of Warri Wolves to produce the contract it purportedly signed with the player in dispute.
Kujah, while shedding light on why Rangers has not said much about the matter despite all the claims by Warri Wolves FC that the player belongs to it, admonished concerned Nigerians to wait till after the two clubs must have tabled their cases before the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Tuesday before they could draw a conclusion.
The widely travelled football agent stressed that transfer cases are not won on the pages of newspapers and, therefore, has advised Wolves to get prepared for a season without Mba, because Rangers FC has all the documents to prove that the players was legally contracted to the Enugu side. He revealed that Mba has already joined his teammates at Rangers, where he was gloriously welcomed last Wednesday in Enugu.
“Rangers officials are not shouting the way Warri Wolves are crying over the ownership of Sunday Mba, because the Enugu side know what they are doing,” Kujah began. “Their lawyers had advised them not to join issues with Warri Wolves because FIFA has its rules on the issue of who owns a player, and those set of rules apply to all the affiliates of FIFA, which Nigeria is a part of.
Moreover, the player (Mba) has declared that he belongs to Enugu Rangers and his opinion has to be respected,” the FIFA-licensed players’ agent explained. “I overheard Amaju Pinnick on Brila FM on Friday, saying that they have documents to back their claim that Mba is their player, but some pertinent questions one need to ask include; from which club did Warri Wolves buy Sunday Mba? To whom did they pay his transfer fee?
Can they state the account number they paid the money into? What percentage of the money did the club get and what percentage went to the player? These and more are some of the questions Warri Wolves must answer to prove their claim of ownership of Sunday Mba.” Kujah continued: “Warri Wolves should be ready to present all the documents they claimed to have on Mba because the player ought not to have been bought from the street. He was with a club before they bought him as they claimed.
“Warri Wolves should pinpoint the club officials that were involved in the transfer of Mba to them. It is not enough to take the case to the court of public opinion, the fact remains that they have to prove to Nigerians who sold the player to them and on what terms,” he emphasized. While speaking with Sunday Sunsports on Friday at Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos, on his arrival from Enugu, where he had attended a ceremony to welcome some new players by Rangers, Kujah explained that though Mba was pictured among Rangers’ players, he was not among the newly unveiled ones.
Rather, he was welcomed back to the club with some other players who were loaned out to other clubs in the previous seasons by Rangers. He, however, acknowledged that some newly bought players by Rangers were unveiled at the well-publicised event. “I want to correct one erroneous impression many Nigerians have been made to believe. Rangers were said to have unveiled Sunday Mba at the ceremony in Enugu on Thursday, but that is not true. The truth is that there was nothing like the unveiling of Sunday Mba by Rangers.
What happened was that Rangers unveiled about five new players they bought for the new season, but Mba was not among the unveiled ones. “People should use their common sense to understand who is telling the truth between Rangers and Warri Wolves in this matter. What Rangers did on Thursday was to welcome Mba and a couple of other players who were loaned out to other clubs in the time past back to the club.
That, in any way, does not tantamount to unveiling Mba. “Rangers couldn’t have unveiled its old player again having done that when Mba joined the club from Enyimba in 2006. The records are there. Though the player was later loaned to Dolphins and for the record, it was from Dolphins that Mba moved to Warri Wolves.
So, those claiming Mba to be their player should explain to Nigerians how they got him when they did not buy the players from Rangers,” Kujah declared. On how to handle the imbroglio, Kujah said: “Well, instead of overheating the system, Warri Wolves should quietly approach Rangers to reach an agreement on how best to resolve the matter amicably so that Mba will have rest of mind to play for the club of his choice.
“Mind you, I advice that Warri Wolves should not make the player’s chances of getting a good club abroad difficult because with his five-star performance at the last AFCON in South Africa, many European clubs will certainly be coming for him. “Having said that, I want to use this medium to thank Coach Stephen Keshi for making Nigerian home-based players marketable. By including the homeboys in his Nations Cup squad, he did a great job and Nigerians are happy with him.”