As reported on August 1st by Olayinka Owolewa, of the News Agency of Nigeria, the Media Officer of the Ilorin-based Kwara United FC, Abdulwaheed Bibire, on Thursday said the club’s Head Coach, Ashifat Sulaiman, had been presented with an official vehicle by the management. Bibire said in Ilorin that the gaffer was also given official accommodation to ensure total comfort for him in carrying out the set goals of the club, especially in the next season. He said the club’s Chairman, Oladimeji Thompson, handed over the car to Sulaiman.
Bibire quoted Thompson as saying the gesture was to give the coach the necessary encouragement ahead of the enormous tasks in the forthcoming Nigeria National League (NNL). “The presentation of the vehicle to Sulaiman, as well as the provision of accommodation became necessary in view of the determination of the management to give the coaching crew the support to achieve success,” he said in a statement.
“In spite of the challenges we faced, and the daunting challenges ahead, we must move on with clear cut objectives. “In achieving that, all hands must be on deck, and that was why we are laying a solid foundation to spring back as soon as possible,” he quoted Thompson saying.
Bibire assured the coach and his lieutenants of adequate support at all times. He added that the club would continue to provide enabling environment for its technical crew and players, with a view to making the state’s darling team return to the elite league next season. The Nigeria News Agency reports that Kwara United was relegated at the end of the just-concluded Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season. Bibire said the chairman said that the task of returning the club to the NPFL, where it belongs required adequate preparation and support.
He charged the coach and his assistants to brace up ahead of the hostilities in the NNL. He said Thompson urged the support of stakeholders in the state, even as he appealed to the government to continue to support the club. Coach Sulaiman will be assisted by former Plateau United FC Captain, Taofeeq Babatunde.
It would be recalled that the former coach of Kwara United FC of Ilorin, Abubakar Bala, resigned his position with immediate effect on May 6th. Bala told the Nigeria News Agency on Monday in Ilorin that he took the decision for personal reasons and not because of the team’s poor run in the ongoing Nigeria Professional Football League.
“I wanted to use Kwara United to help my career and propel myself but if the management are not ready, there is no need to stay,” Bala said. According to an online betting fan, Bala said that he would rest for a while before joining the U-20 national team for the World Cup. The Secretary of Kwara United FC, Malam Ibrahim Bako, said he had been informed that Bala had resigned but had not received any official letter to that effect.
The former Niger Tornadoes of Minna gaffer said the club had taken care of his welfare and that of the players except for the two months salaries they were being owed. “I don’t talk about what happened between me and my previous clubs; it is an administrative matter and I always love to leave it at that.
They also drew their last two home matches goalless with Insurance of Benin and Lobi Stars of Makurdi. Kwara United have struggled in the ongoing season and they are deep in the relegation waters with 20 points from 17 matches. Kwara United patted ways with its former technical adviser, John Obuh following a not too impressive performance in the league in March 2018.
“I’m told he has resigned, this hasn’t been communicated to me officially, although I heard he has the letter somewhere,” Bako said. The Kwara United scribe also said he had not spoken to the coach since the news broke out. NAN recalls that Kwara United FC has not won any of its last three league games. The club lost at home to Rangers International of Enugu 2-1 in a rescheduled fixture and another disappointing 3-0 outing with Enyimba International FC of Aba.
The club then appointed Bala on March 13, 2018. Bala had earlier been relieved of his duties at Niger Tornadoes in 2017. He had qualified Niger Tornadoes for 2017 Aiteo Cup final and lost on penalties to Akwa United in the finals played at the Agege Stadium, Lagos.