The Chairman, Enyimba FC of Aba, Chief Felix Anyansi-Agwu has claimed that lack of money among other factors have been responsible for his side’s failure at the CAF Champions League, the sportsbay.com reports.
Enyimba became the first Nigerian club to win the continent’s premier international club competition in the 2003 CAF Champions League by beating Ismaily of Egypt 2–1 on aggregate and defended the crown in 2004 beating Tunisia’s Étoile du Sahel in the finals.
However, the People’s Elephant have not reached the finals since then and have been playing in the CAF Confederations Cup recently.
In a radio interview monitored by our correspondent, Anyansi said they have been unable to overcome the North African teams because they lack the financial strength to muscle their way to victory.
“It is a big issue and it is not the fault of Enyimba. In 2011, we won 11 consecutive games and we got to the semi-finals. We lost within seconds in Morocco and drew in Aba. We have gotten to the semi-finals about 5 times without getting to the finals. Semi-finals is almost finals.
“It is not that we don’t have what to take administratively but what is lacking is the strength of what North African teams have against us – money.
“We can’t compete with a team that comes to your home ground with a chartered aircraft on and off. We have had to travel to 2 countries before you get to your destination. Some players in these clubs are paid minimum of $20,000. That is to say they have the capacity to go to any country and pick the best in Africa,” he said.
Anyansi further said that some people as well as infrastructure worked against their success through their envy.
“The infrastructure and the Nigerian thing which goes a lot with envy. On the occasions we got to the semi-finals, there were so much envy in the system.
“We are the only club in Africa that the North Africans will hear and be prepared for and it is because of our pedigree. Our experience is unquantifiable and this is what people look down on,” he said.