Players’ Horror: Gunmen critically injure Nigerian football team on bus in horror attack (Photos)
FOOTBALL HORROR Gunmen ‘critically injures’ FC Ifeanyi Ubah players and coaches on bus in horror shooting attack.
GUNMEN attacked a bus carrying Nigerian top-flight club FC Ifeanyi Ubah that left at least six injured in a horror shooting attack.
The Anambra State side had travelled for just five of the 14-hours for their match against the Jigawa Golden Stars when they were raided.
The bus conveying the players was intercepted by men of the underworld dressed in National Youth Service Corp uniforms who opened fire on the spot.
The bus driver suffered gunshot wounds and at least five others, including both players and coaches, have been left “critically injured,” according to a statement from the club.
Armed robbers were said to have been dressed in the uniforms of the National Youth Service Corps – a program for graduates required to complete a year of national service – when they attacked.
A statement from Ifeanyi Ubah on their Facebook read: “To the glory of God, no life was lost.
“However, the driver was shot while some members of the coaching crew and players were critically injured. The affected persons are currently being treated and are responding to treatment.
“We wish to use this medium to appeal to the Federal Government as well as football regulatory bodies … to further intensify security efforts to ensure the safety of teams who often have no choice than to travel long distances by road.”
“Conclusively, fans, well-wishers, supporters and Nigerians, in general, are kindly urged to keep the entire management, coaching staff and players of FC Ifeanyi Ubah in their prayers in this moment of despair.”
Ubah, otherwise known as The Anambra Warriors, are 10th in the NPFL with eight points from five matches.
Stanley Ike-Richard, COO of the League Management Company, which runs the league, have confirmed the fixture has been moved to Monday.
Media officer of the club, Iyke Nwokedi, said, the players are fine except for the driver who was hit by a stray bullet.
“Majority of the players are fine but some are in shock and one was injured on the head,” he said.
“Majorly, the one who was really affected was the driver of the bus who got hit by a stray bullet but he has been admitted at the hospital somewhere in Kogi State. That’s the situation and for security purpose, we won’t want to reveal some vital information of where the players are and the hospital where one of the officials is receiving treatment.
“But the important thing is that we are fine and stabilising and also ensuring that the players come out of the shock and see if we will be able to play the game on Sunday.
“We have contacted the LMC about the situation and we are waiting for their conclusion.
“The gunmen were actually donning the NYSC regalia. Someone came out like a corps member and we thought he was on a routine stop-and-check, the rest ran out and that was it. It was more like deceit. They were marksmen who were in possession of what they should not bear and I think they were about five or six. I could not really ascertain due to the shock and everything happened so fast but I think I saw about five or six of them.”
Nigerian clubs typically have to travel long distances for fixtures, with this latest attack occurring on the same Lokoja road where Kano Pillars were involved in a similar raid.
SEE FULL PRESS STATEMENT BELOW
FC IFEANYI UBAH PLAYERS ATTACKED BY ARMED ROBBERS ALONG KABA JUNCTION, NEAR LOKOJA.
This is to inform the general public that at about 1:30pm today, players of FC Ifeanyi Ubah (Anambra Warriors) who were travelling to Kano for their scheduled NPFL matchday 6 fixture against Jigawa Golden Stars ran into a group of armed robbers dressed in NYSC uniforms, operating at Kabba junction, near Lokoja in Kogi state.
To the glory of God, no life was lost. However, the driver was shot while some members of the coaching crew and players were critically injured. The affected persons are currently being treated and are responding to treatment.
We wish to use this medium to appeal to the Federal Government as well as football regulatory bodies; Nigerian Football Federation(NFF) and the League Management Company (LMC) to further intensify security efforts to ensure the safety of teams who often have no choice than to travel long distances by road, especially clubs owned by Private investors who are made to invest their hard earned money in the growth and development of Nigerian football.
Conclusively, fans, well wishers, supporters and Nigerians in general are kindly urged to keep the entire management, coaching staff and players of FC Ifeanyi Ubah in their prayers in this moment of despair.