Osun State Commissioner for Sports, Mr. Biyi Odunlade, has launched an attack on his Ondo State counterpart, Mr. Saka Yusuf-Ogunleye, saying the latter is not fit to hold public office.
Odunlade, who was reacting to Yusuf-Ogunleye’s allegations that Osun United mobilised hoodlums to Ijebu Ode in Ogun State to attack Sunshine Stars players and their supporters after their second leg Aiteo Cup quarterfinal clash at the Dipo Dina Stadium on Saturday, said the Ondo commissioner lied.
Ondo State-owned Sunshine won the game 3-1 to reach the semifinals 3-2 on aggregate.
But Osun United supporters, whose team won the first leg 1-0, reportedly invaded the pitch to attack Sunshine players and officials after the referee, Ferdinand Udoh, allegedly denied the Osogbo side a chance to score a second goal that would have given them the ticket to the next round.
Over 20 persons were reportedly injured while no fewer than 10 vehicles were vandalised after the fight spread to other parts of the stadium.
Odunlade claimed that Sunshine and Gateway United supporters teamed up to attack Osun State-owned Osun United,
The Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s aide, who accused Sunshine coach, Duke Udi, of harassing Osun United players and supporters, also alleged that the referee made many questionable calls during the match.
He said, “If Ogunleye could publicly lie, the way he did against the viciously attacked innocent supporters of Osun United, then, we dare say that he lacks the integrity and credibility to be part of any upright administration.
“It was discovered that the supporters of Gateway and Remo Stars (both based in Ogun State) joined forces with those of Sunshine to attack Osun United.
“For the benefit of hindsight, Osun United had earlier defeated Gateway 2-0 in the league September 9, thereby cutting short their aspiration to get promoted to the Nigeria Professional Football League. This blow was fatal to Gateway, hence they decided to join forces with Sunshine.”
“During the attack, the second goalkeeper of Osun United and the captain of the team, Akeem Olalere, were seriously injured by their attackers. Five of the buses that conveyed Osun United and their supporters to the stadium were vandalised by the supporters of Sunshine in league with those of Gateway United and Remo Stars.”
Odunlade added, “It is unfortunate that Ogunleye is a cabinet member of the administration of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.”
But Yusuf-Ogunleye said he would not take issue with Odunlade, saying “we are cultured and decent people in Ondo State”.
He said, “During our press conference, we told the whole world what happened. For calling me a liar shows the type of person he is.
“By the way of our training here, we are cultured and decent people in Ondo State and we have respect for constituted authorities. I will not reply him, and I am not ready to take issue with him.”
He added, “The issue goes beyond attacking me or abusing me, it is not a personal matter, the NFF has been informed, the police and soldiers have their records and the Ijebu monarch who came to the (police) station for the release of the arrested aggressors is still alive.”
– Copyright PUNCH