Nigeria’s last team in continental campaign this season, Enyimba FC flew out to Libya last night on a chartered fight for a decisive CAF Confederation Cup game against Al Ahli Benghazi.
The People’s Elephant were at the point of losing hope of making the trip due to logistics problems but Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, intervened by hiring a private jet to ferry the players and officials to Libya.
Before the team left Nigeria, CAF had earlier turned down their request to postpone the match due to the flight and visa hitches they faced.
With the governor’s intervention, the team is now scheduled to honour the match-day five fixture at 10pm on Thursday April 22.
“I am deeply grateful to the governor for this very kind and generous gesture,” the Enyimba Chairman, Felix AnyansiAgwu stated before the team left Lagos last night.
“His intervention has averted what could have brought embarrassment and ridicule, not just to Enyimba but to Nigeria as a country.
“The timely manner in which he (Gov Ikpeazu) intervened in the matter is a clear indication that he has Enyimba at the centre of his heart, and God will continue to bless him.
“I also want to thank the NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, for the role he played in ensuring that we are now at this point where we are sure of playing the match in a convenient atmosphere.
“He took it upon himself to ensure that everything is fine for us to honour the match, and we are very grateful to him.”
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Enyimba are second in Group A with six points from four matches, two points behind leaders Orlando Pirates who the People’s Elephant will face on the final matchday. The Libyans are third on four points.
Meanwhile, Enyimba are likely to play their final,Group A tie against South Africa’s Orlando Pirates outside Nigeria as they are yet to get approval from the health authorities to stage the game in Aba.
Enyimba will play host to Orlando Pirates on April 28.
They had on February 24, 2021, written to NFF, PTF, CAF and Federal Ministry of Sports to seek clearance for the game to be held in Aba, but they are yet to get a final decision on that.
Benin, Ghana or Cameroon could be the venue for this game, if their home ground is not approved by the health authorities.
Fellow Nigerian club side, kRivers United played a Confederation Cup qualifier against another South African club, Blomfontein Celtic, in Benin Republic after the health authorities refused to give the South African club a waiver as regards quarantine.