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Uzodinmma urged to sack Sports Commissioner, Heartland GM

The Imo Chapter of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) on Tuesday in Owerri urged Governor Hope Uzodimma to sack the state’s Youth and Sports…

The Imo Chapter of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) on Tuesday in Owerri urged Governor Hope Uzodimma to sack the state’s Youth and Sports Commissioner, Dan Ogu and the General Manager of the state owned football club, Heartland, Promise Nwachukwu.

Imo SWAN, in a communique issued at the end of its congress, said this was necessary in view of the relegation of Heartland FC of Owerri to the lower league.

The body also advised Gov. Uzodimma to “appoint a football technocrat” to head the Youth and Sports Ministry and ensure a total overhauling of the Heartland FC’s management.

The group identified poor management by the club’s supervisors, as well as inadequate funding, as the major reasons for the Owerri-based club’s relegation to the lower league.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Heartland FC players boycotted several training sessions during the immediate-past season.

They also engaged in a protest on the streets of Owerri during the last NPFL campaign over unpaid salary arrears.

NAN reports that the club’s relegation, however, has since then generated wide criticism from sports stakeholders and the team’s fans.

Imo SWAN, in the communique jointly signed by its Chairman, Everest Ezihe, and Secretary, Tunde Liadi, urged Gov. Uzodimma to ensure the club’s instant comeback to the Nigerian league’s top-flight.

“Imo SWAN expresses dismay and observes with regret the speed with which the state’s darling club was forced into relegation again, owing to internal wrangling barely a few seasons after the club suffered the same fate.

“We advocate a total overhaul and change of Heartland FC management with a substantive chairman or a General Manager who has the capacity to reposition the club,” the communique stated.