That Enyimba International FC won the 2019 NPFL title is no longer news. In fact, fans of the People’s Elephant are not too excited about being Nigeria’s champion because this is the club’s eighth title. They are not new or strange with this trophy.
True fans of Enyimba Int’l FC want to know what the club will achieve in the continent next season….or betterstill how the club will perform. This is so because since the 2003-2004 back to back triumph in CAF Champions League, the club has continued to float between doing well and merely existing. True fans of Enyimba Int’l FC know that the club is big enough to have passed the stage of merely competing in the domestic scene. In fact, they believe that the club belongs to the class of Ahly Nacional, Zamalek, Raja Casablanca, Ashanti Kotoko, Club Africaine and Esperance among others.
These are traditional African teams who have looked beyond their domestic scenes and local engagements to focus yearly on dominating Africa. To these clubs, football us all about featuring in the CAF Champions League annually and getting something tangible from it. It is a culture…It is a must. It is like FC Barcelona featuring in the UCL or like Brazil featuring in the FIFA World Cup. It is more of a birthright. That is where Enyimba Int’l FC belongs in African football. But not just to feature in the continent but to dominate.
To true fans of Enyimba Int’l FC here is where their club should be. This should be the focus or mindset of its administrators especially after excelling in 2003-2004 back to back. Sadly the successes of those victories were not utilised. The club got satisfied with the euphoria of those wins…..just those win. But today, all that, is changing given that they now appreciate that you don’t achieve such all the time. It is now a herculean task to even win your domestic league…talk more of excelling in Africa.
So now that Enyimba Int’l FC has returned to the continent by virtue of winning the NPFL Super 6, can Abia State Government under the leadership of Gov. Ikpeazu revive the magic that made the club Africa’s best 15 years ago? Thankfully, the same man who guided the club then, talking about Chief Felix Anyansi is still incharge of the club. He has the experience. He is grounded and has the personality and contacts. So can the governor put in the same level of commitment and resources as former governor now Senator Orji Uzor Kalu did in the glorious era of the club?
What on earth is stopping the People’s Elephant from stamping her feet on Africa’s soil to crush all the grasses on the field of play? Do we need to look deeper into the club’s management with a view of weeding out those standing as cogs in the wheel of the club’s progress if there is any? What is the need of spending donkey years in a club and relishing in past glory? If a change is needed, can’t it be effected?
Enough of making Enyimba Int’l FC look like it is satisfied with just participating in the NPFL and FA Cup. It is time for next level….
By Desmond Ekwueme