Published on: 01 February 2017

Abia Warriors have condemned comments attributed to coach Kennedy Boboye that he lost his job because of the poor pitch of the Umuahia club’s home ground.

Former Sunshine Stars coach Boboye was sacked by Abia Warriors mid-way last season following a string of poor results, but he claimed the Umuahia Township Stadium ground contributed to the team’s woeful home performance, saying he had advised that Abia Warriors relocate to Calabar, Cross River State, as a result.

In a statement, Abia Warriors wondered why he should attribute his woes to the Umuahia Township Stadium pitch whereas it is better than the home ground of his current team and the coach who replaced him won all the four matches the team played at the same pitch.

“At no time did Boboye either in writing or otherwise advised management on the need to relocate the team to Calabar. After he was sacked, the coach who replaced him won all his four matches at the same stadium and presently, the Umuahia Township Stadium has been adjudged as one of the best grounds this season after undergoing massive renovation,” argued the NPFL club.

The statement further said Boboye received the highest level of cooperation during his stay in Umuahia as he was given a free hand to select his players without interference from any quarters, but lamented that after initially setting the pace in the Nigerian top flight, Abia Warriors then dwindled in performance as a result of Boboye’s high handedness.

“The fact remains that Boboye was given a free hand when he was here and that got into his head and he almost took us into relegation. Of course, we had no choice but to sack him because of poor results”, the statement clarified.

“It was under Boboye that for the first time, Abia Warriors were beaten 5-0 in any match,  it was under him that Abia Warriors lost four matches in a row for the first time, it was also under him the team lost six consecutive away matches for the first time and Abia Warriors also failed to qualify for the National preliminaries of the Nigerian Federation Cup when a lower League side beat his team  at the semi-final of the state competition”, the statement said.

“These are the ugly records he left that almost drowned us but for the timely intervention of management which sacked him and the new coach who replaced him then played the remaining six matches unbeaten.”

Abia Warriors then called on the coach to concentrate on his job so that he will not face a similar down-turn in performance as when he was in Umuahia as a result of pride.