Flimsy Elephants - Enyimba's Finidi George throws Nwankwo Kanu-led board under the bus after disgraceful AFL run

Things are not going smoothly between Finidi George and the Kanu-led board at Enyimba.

Flimsy Elephants - Enyimba's Finidi George throws Nwankwo Kanu-led board under the bus after disgraceful AFL run

Izuchukwu Akawor 12:25 - 31.10.2023

Finidi George has exposed the ineptitude of Nwankwo Kanu and other management staff at Enyimba after the embarrassing outing in the AFL.

Super Eagles legend and current Enyimba FC coach, Finidi George, has made headlines after openly criticising the leadership of the club, particularly the board led by another Nigerian icon, Nwankwo Kanu, after a disappointing outing in the African Football League, AFL.

Finidi, known for his legendary football career, didn’t mince words when he expressed frustration on internal problems, including what he referred to as ‘flimsy reasons.”

Finidi blasts Enyimba management

The People’s Elephant, who are Nigeria’s most successful football club and a consistent force in African football, endured a challenging and disgraceful outing in the AFL.

Enyimba’s underwhelming and lacklustre performances saw they suffer a 4-0 aggregate defeat to Wydad Casablanca, leaving fans and football enthusiasts baffled and disheartened.

Enyimba's coach Finidi George
Enyimba's coach Finidi George is furious with the club board.

Speaking to journalists, the Enyimba boss, George, in his candid and explosive assessment of the situation, pointed the finger directly at the club’s leadership. 

He believes that the decisions and strategies implemented by the board led by his former international teammate, Kanu, contributed to his team’s recent struggles. 

Governor Alex Otti of Abia State charged Kanu Nwankwo to raise the bar at Enyimba but he appears to be failing.

This open critique was a rare opportunity to witness such direct criticisms from a head coach, who spoke on the generation disorganisation that has plagued the Elephant.

“The current Enyimba team can only compete in the NPFL and not on the continent,” Finidi said during an interview with selected journalists. 

Enyimba players lineup before the first leg in Uyo. (Photo Credit: Enyimba/X)

“We are not at the level of Wydad. We have to focus on the league. We didn’t replace players who left adequately.

“At the level of the AFL, you must have a strong squad to stand any chance. We lost out top scorer (Emeka) Obioma and our highest assist provider (Sadiq) Abubakar. 

Enyimba players jet out for Morocco to face Wydad. (Photo Credit: Enyimba)

"We also lost so many other top players whose experience would have been needed in the AFL. But nothing was done to replace them right. We didn’t have any business losing so many of those players.”

Enyimba must come first 

Visibly angry and disappointed, Finidi, who stated that the club signed 19 (substandard) players of which he only knew about four, revealed further that the People’s Elephant also made a mess of the registration process which cost him the use of some key players and staff, a situation he described as a joke. 

Finidi is not happy with the lack of organisation at Enyimba.

“Ideally, before registering players the coaches must be consulted,” he added. “But that wasn’t the case here. For whatever flimsy reason, we were not consulted and they did the registration themselves. 

“As a result, some of the players we would have needed were not registered. Can you imagine that we went for such a game without the goalkeeping and fitness coaches? Myself and Yema (assistant) were the only coaches that travelled for that game (in Morocco). That is very strange to me.”

Wydad celebrate during the African Football League match between Enyimba FC of Nigeria and WYDAD AC of Morocco at Godwill Akpabio Stadium on October 22, 2023 in Uyo, Nigeria. Photo by Olumide Amos

“Everyone has to put the interest of the club first because until this is done, we would only be joking.”

Finidi George and his Enyimba side are back in Nigeria after the club was disgraced out of the continent. The People’s Elephant will switch attention to the NPFL, where they face a wounded Niger Tornadoes side. 

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