Super Eagles assistant coach Imama Amapakabo has exclusively opened up to SCORENigeria on his recent arrest by police on the request of Enugu Rangers – which his lawyers likened to abduction Gestapo style – over some official properties still in his custody months after he was no longer part of the club.
SCORENIGERIA: Coach Imama, How are you doing?
IMAMA: I am good, thank you for asking.
The controversies surrounding the termination of your appointment with Rangers have made headline news across Nigeria with even the Nigerian coaches association threatening to go on strike at the height of the whole drama. What do you make of all these?
Thank you. First of all, I want to thank the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), I want to thank the League Management Company (LMC) and I want to thank the football family.
I thank everybody who showed concern in respect of my matter with Rangers Football Club.
It has also given credence to the league organising body that they are really on top of whatever they are doing.
We have gone through a lot of issues and I am thankful that they have been able to come up with a reasonable decision and this has actually told everybody that they are honourable body.
What I want to say in respect of this matter is that we are in football and whatever we want to do, we should make sure that is going to be something that will make us to progress.
It’s shameful and disgraceful that such matter degenerated to this level
Coach Imama, just five months ago you were an icon in the city of Enugu, where you won the league with Rangers after 32 years. And then all of a sudden you fell apart with the management of Rangers.
I think it’s unfortunate that these things are happening, some persons in the management board of Rangers failed to understand what football is all about and I think it’s shameful and disgraceful that such matter degenerated to this level.
I think a lot of persons have said a whole lot of things because they don’t have the facts of this matter. I have been quiet and I chose not to go public on this matter because I felt we are one family, we could always resolve our issues.
Once you are in football business is not like you are dating, it is more like a marriage, whatever it is you should be able to resolve it, that is what we have been able to do up to this point in time.
League Management Company who oversee the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) has ordered Rangers pay you the total sum of 16.7 million Naira within 10 days. Are you satisfied with the ruling?
I never had an issue with it from the onset. I just said I wanted to make a statement, and the whole issue was on table of the League Management Company and the NFF.
This was a litmus test for them and their response has proved to everybody that they are up to whatever it is that they want to do in respect of football.
Their decisions have given them prestige and impetus for everybody to believe that so long as you have documents to back up whatever you want to do, the League Management Company and the Nigeria Football Federation will back you up.
By Kola Daniel