Monday, October 26, 2009

New Twist On Glo League’s MVP Ownership

It is just five weeks into Globacom Premier League and a huge crisis may erupt in the camp of titleholder, Bayelsa United, over the ownership of last season’s Most Valuable Player (MVP), Chibuzor Okonkwo.
Earlier this month, reports suggested that the former Under-23 national team defender had secured a move from Bayelsa United to rival side, Heartland Football Club.
Bayelsa United chairman, Victor Bari Bote Rumson, told in an exclusive interview with this week that he is in the dark over the alleged transfer of the player from his side to Heartland FC.
Rumson declared that no representatives from Heartland FC have informed him of the Owerri side’s intention of luring the player over to its camp in the new season.
The Bayelsa United chief also disclosed that his club still owns 100 per cent ownership of Okonkwo for this season.
“I can tell you that I am not aware that he (Okonkwo) has signed for another club. Remember that I also once played the game and for a player of his caliber my prayer for him is not to sign another club in Nigeria but to go abroad and improve himself. For a player that has played in the Olympics alongside the likes of (Lionel) Messi and others I don’t think that he should leave another Nigerian club and head for another. But all that said, Chibuzor still remains our player because we have his ownership.
“He is like a brother to me and I have in every little way tried to encourage him even when he feels disappointed about the game. I will also tell you to ask the player himself about this issue,” he said.
However, sounded out the 20-year-old full-back on the truth over the transfer saga and Okonkwo took the opposite direction.
The former Gabros International Football Club man pointed out that he no longer has a contract with Bayelsa United after last season’s title-winning feat.
Okonkwo even corroborated his claim saying that he was not registered by Bayelsa United for this season, which makes him a free agent, who can broker a deal to move elsewhere without his former employer’s consent.
“I am shocked to hear this (that I’m still a Bayelsa United player). As I speak to you, I am not even a registered player of the club for this season and I am sure that they (Bayelsa United) know this. I do not have a contract with them and that makes me a free player. I have spoken to Heartland and they are interested in bringing me to their team and all things being equal, everything will be concluded,” he told

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