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Fear and worry grip clubs in eastern Nigeria as matches approach.

Clubs in the Nigeria Professional Football League and the Nigeria National League have raised concern over the situation and insecurity in the country's east, stating they have been playing games in terror, according to The PUNCH. Killings, attacks on government properties, police stations, and schools, as well as looting and property destruction, have occurred in Imo, Anambra, Abia, and Enugu states, prompting the government to declare curfew in parts of the affected areas.



Some significant stakeholders in the top-tier and second-tier competitions have expressed concern as a result of the incidents. Emmanuel Zira, Chairman of NPFL side Adamawa United, told The PUNCH that he has been terrified to release his players for away matches in the East. “I have to be honest, I'm terrified, and I've already lodged my objections with the NPFL's Chief Operating Officer,” he stated. I told him I'm worried because of what's going on now and the way they're killing Northerners in the East. “I can't keep putting my players' lives in danger; that's why I was urging that we take a close look at the league because what's occurring today requires extreme caution.” “We will still honor our matches,” he added, “but I have warned them to be very cautious.” Providing more security is not the answer in a city where police officers are being killed and police stations and army barracks are being burned.



“For example, I have a relative in the East who hasn't been seen since Monday after leaving to transfer money. We haven't been able to contact him till now.” Ebomhiana Musa, Chief Press Secretary to the Deputy Governor of Edo State, stated that despite the instability in the region, the state-owned Bendel Insurance would play their final game in the eastern part of the country. “All we have to do is remain vigilant while traveling, and most of the time we travel with our (security) escort. We will continue to hope and pray for our athletes' and everyone's safety,” Quadry added. Amobi Ezeaku, team manager of Enugu Rangers, says one of their games has been rescheduled due to security concerns. “We update the LMC on our observations from time to time,” he explained. For example, our game against Ifeanyi Ubah last week was postponed so that we could return to Enugu on time.” IfeanyiUbah club chairman, Chukwuma Ubah, who is situated in Nnewi in the country's east, said that footballers in the region are fearful as a result of the disturbance. He stated, "The players are terrified and frightened; we had to move our last game to 2 p.m." It wasn't ideal, but we had to consider the players. “We are merely clubs, and it is up to LMC to decide whether or not matches will be shifted away from the impacted areas. However, they are frequently hesitant to make a decision because they do not comprehend what individuals go through and the risks involved, especially given that the entire country is hot right now. “Away teams traveling for matches are concerned, but the problem is that the majority of them are government-owned and are hell-bent on carrying out the matches solely to make money.” Meanwhile, LMC spokesperson Harry Iwuala advised any teams that are worried to contact to the league authority.



“The clubs should write to the LMC officially, and they should demonstrate what they wrote to the LMC because they can't discuss verbally,” “The last position we had with clubs was when they agreed that the league should resume after the lengthy break, a meeting was held, and it was the final stance agreed upon. “If they want the league to stop, they have the right to do so, but not in the media. They should understand that drafting an official letter to LMC carries weight, and that doing so also leaves room for other clubs to agree, because one or two clubs cannot decide for 20 clubs.”

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