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Dead player had trial at my club four years ago – Osman replies

Late Ifeanyi Victor Okafor

Late Ifeanyi Victor Okafor, who died and was buried in April this year came for a trial at Oyah Sports Club of Suleja four years ago, says Sylla Osman, chairman of the club.

Osman, in his full response to the exclusive publication of www.totorinews.com on Monday with the headline ‘Nigerian player dies after football administrator was paid to help secure foreign deal.’ He explained that the only mistake he made was not to have responded immediately  when this news media outfit contacted him on the matter.

“I made a mistake by not replying fast when I was contacted on this issue. I was very busy with some engagements about my club and I was out of the country.But I will be glad to reveal what really happened,” Osman told www.totorinews.com

“Alex Okafor met me some years ago about his brother, who he said was a good footballer and that I should help him to secure a deal in Europe. He said he was willing to pay for his travelling documents and other expenses.

“He gave me money at different times totalling about N650k to start the process when the time approaches. I made him to realise that his brother must come for a trial at my club for my technical crew to fully assess him and register him to play for a season, if possible.

“To cut the long story short. Victor came for a trial, trained with us for about six weeks and the club came to a conclusion that he did not meet the standard required.

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Sylla Osman

“I communicated this to his elder brother, Alex . I told him there was no need for us to continue to process his travelling. I told him that Victor lacked the ability to play professional football whether local or foreign.

“So I refunded the money to him. He said I useless the money. For me, the most important thing is that, I refunded his money back to him. He gave me the money in installments and I also refunded installmentally.

“Victor left my club four years ago. I was shocked when Alex sent a text message to me that his brother had died and I expressed my sadness to him immediately.

“Victor left my club. I got information that he had even settled down at Enugu state and married. I wished him well in all his endeavours the last time we spoke. 

“I felt bad when I heard that he died in a car crash. May Allah forgive all his shortcomings.

Speaking on the issue of Caleb Nwaeze that Alex also raised, he explained clearly that the Finland embassy sent an email to the player inviting him for interview, unfortunately, the player never checked his email and also COVID-19 prevented him from traveling last year.

He further informed that the player is still very active playing in the Nigeria National League (NNL) this season and he is being paid on his financial entitlements as a registered player of Oyah Sports Club.

“I will not deny also that Alex introduced Caleb Nwaeze to me. The young player came for training, he showed great potentials and he was registered by Oyah Sports Club. He is still a player in the team.

“Now, regarding the issue of his travelling. He was scheduled for an interview at the Finland Embassy. An official document was sent to his email, but Caleb did not check his email.

“When I contacted him and asked if he had checked his email, he replied me, no. I told him he should check his email immediately, that it was very urgent because a document has been sent to his email.

“He later told me he had forgotten his password and he could not find the jotter he wrote it. Myself and other club officials were very annoyed. Time was running out.

“It was so sad that by the time he found his password to access his email, it was too late for him. We were all mad at him and he has learnt a bitter lesson with that incident.

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The travelling document sent to Caleb Nwaeze by Finland Emabssy in Nigeria

“COVID-19 also prevented a lot of people from travelling last year. We felt it was a blessing in disguise and we looked forward to another opportunity for the player.

“Caleb is still a player in my club this season in the Nigeria National League. He has been very active this season and he is being paid his match bonuses and other financial entitlements. 

“The money Alex gave me was to assist Caleb to travel abroad. Most part of the money will still come from me and by the grace of God, we are still looking for opportunities for him to play in Europe. He lost his first chance. Another one will come and he will surely play abroad because he has the quality.

“Alex Okafor is someone I know. He is not a stranger to how I have helped Nigerian players to play in Europe. It is sad that Victor did not meet up the standard. I told him about it and he cannot deny it. This happened in 2018. 

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Alex Okafor

“With the help of Almighty Allah I have helped to transfer some Nigrerian players move to Europe. Some notable players and grassroot players too. Some succeeded, others did not. 

“Football is about your ability to play the game. If you don’t have the ability, you will not succeed, but you can still succeed in other aspects of your life,” he concluded.

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