Enyimba of Aba have raised eyebrows over a ruling by Confederation of African Football (CAF) that they must play this weekend’s Champions League preliminary round return leg match against Rahimo of Burkina Faso behind closed doors.
The Peoples’ Elephant lost the first leg 1-0 in Ouagadougou two weekends ago, such that Sunday’s reverse fixture is a must-win for them in Aba, but they are bound to play the game without their fans in attendance following CAF’s order, pending a final inspection of the stadium.
Although the continental body appears to have come down hard on the two-time African champions and eight-time Nigerian league winners, the Aba club insist there is something fishy about the body’s decision.
However, it would be recalled that CAF last year fined Enyimba for an infringement in the Confederation Cup, when CARA Brazzaville of Congo complained about poor floodlights at Enyimba International Stadium in Aba during their clash at the venue.
Ironically, the arena in question was opened after several years of renovation, which saw Enyimba play for three seasons outside their ancestral base, but it has again been declared unsuitable for Sunday’s match, which is scheduled to kick-off at 4pm.
Enyimba club officials argued the game will not require floodlights, since it will not run into the grey of late evening, and one of the Aba club’s top shots told SCORENigeria: “There is a lot more to this decision.”