“Where is goalkeeper Emmanuel Daniel?…Will he play in Ibadan on Sunday…?” These are few of the questions to be asked when Shooting Stars Sports Club, 3SC of Ibadan host Rangers International of Enugu in an epic Nigeria Premier League, NPL, match on Sunday, 22 September, 2013. Daniel is a good goalkeeper no doubt, but he is likely to miss today’s action due to his involvement in a transfer row between 3SC and Rangers. Rangers, who were recently involved in such transfer brouhaha with Warri Wolves, over the ownership of Super Eagles midfielder, Sunday Mba, allegedly signed Daniel ‘through the back door’ this season.
And, as the kick off time of Sunday’s match draws nearer, the officials of 3SC claimed that Daniel remains their player and cannot feature against them in Rangers colours, but the Antelopes are desperate to field the keeper in Ibadan. The Media Officer of 3SC, Jubril Arowolo who spoke to eyeonthesports.com explained that the goalkeeper is still a legitimate player of their club.
He said: “Daniel is our player and we did not clear him to play for Rangers. Last season ended on 7 September last year and Daniel verbally agreed a new deal with 3SC. Daniel even received his October salary before departing for Kaduna on holidays. However, it came as a rude shock to us when we heard that he has moved to Rangers”.
Arowolo buttressed his claims that Daniel’s clearance is still with 3SC, but Rangers also claimed that the goalkeeper was a free agent when they registered him, that the NFF cleared him for the Antelopes.
Whatever happens, Rangers may be heading for fresh troubles if they field an ineligible player at this crucial time of the season.
Aside from the transfer crisis, the spectators would be treated to a classic game in Ibadan. Rangers play good football and Arowolo agreed that the Antelopes would give 3SC a good match.
The Flying Antelopes, as Rangers are known are loved in Africa and passionately followed by Nigerians, same applies to 3SC, who must win this match to remain afloat.
Consequently, the Image Maker of Rangers, Foster Chime, who was in Lagos for the Federation Cup final last weekend, said Rangers are in Ibadan to claim the points at stake.
He disclosed that Rangers Chairman, Festus Onu has promised to reward the players with the sum of N300,000 if they beat 3SC on Sunday, while they will get N250,000 for a draw.
Rangers are currently 5th on the NPL table with 48points from 32 matches, while 3SC, who have 39points from same number of matches are battling to escape relegation.