By Binebai Princewill
Head coach of Kurutie Fc in the ongoing Ijaw/Itsekiri Peace and Unity Cup, Mr. Solomon Toruosei has cried out that Mr. John Gbofunye is a bonfide son of Kurutie in Gbaramatu kingdom, Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State.
The head coach of Kurutie Fc, Mr. Solomon is reacting to how one of his most trusted player, Gbofunye was screened out of the tournament recently at Binikrukru when Kurutie Fc was drawn to battle Binikrukru Fc in the tournament.
According to a statement issued to newsmen in Warri today, a copy of which was sent to The Liberator Newspaper, the coach particularly accused a prominent chief in Gbaramatu kingdom, Chief Jeffrey Ojogun, the Kurowei of Gbaramatu Kingdom in Warri South West for masterminding the removal of Mr. John Gbofunye who according to Mr. Solomon is a bonafide son of Kurutie community.
However, it would be recalled that the Kurutie Fc after screening out their embattled player, Mr. John played against Benikrukru Fc and lost to Binikrukru Fc 1-0.
Meanwhile, Mr. Solomon had called on the Chief Sponsor of the tournament, Amb. Comrade Sheriff Mulade to look into the matter so that John Gbofunye whom he described as a legitimate son of Kurutie to play for his community freely.
According to him, for the tournament to achieve its set goals, people should not instigate removal of bonafide players from communities, noting that such acts will at the end serves no purpose, he noted that for peace to reign, the player must be allowed to play in their next match that is scheduled to commence tomorrow at Binikrukru community.
The head coach have wondered why their son Mr. John Gbofunye would be screened out of the tournament, noting that their son has been playing virtually all the tournaments in the Kingdom, stressing that the said player was in 2017 awarded the best player of the maiden edition of the Sheriff Mulade Peace and Unity Cup, wondering why the reverse should be the case now.
The statement reads in part: “A very prominent Chief in Binikurukuru community conspired with the organizers of the ongoing tournament to screen out Kurutie player who became the best player in 2017 Sheriff Mulade Peace Cup for just no reasons.
“The player who has played almost all tournaments in Gbaramatu kingdom including the first peace tournament hosted by Sheriff Mulade was screened-out by the organizers in the football match between Kurutie Federated Community and Binikurukuru Community at Binikurukuru community being the host community. The prominent chief instigated the screening process and insisted that the skillful player be removed.
“The organizers conceded to the bidding calling for the removal of the skillful player saying that, the player will not be allowed to play the football match between Kurutie community and Binikurukuru community but he will play any other match against other communities.
“It is in view of the above paragraphs we are calling on the Chief host of the tournament comrade Sheriff Mulade to look into the actions of the secretary of the organizing committee Chief Jeffrey Ojogun.
“If the tournament must yield positive result then measures must be put in place to address the perceived anomaly.” Mr. Solomon Toruosei stated.
I have heard about it, it is left for the LOC to look into the matter – Mulade
When contacted, Chief Sponsor of the tournament, Amb. Comr. Sheriff Mulade while reacting to allegations levelled against the LOC members by the Kurutie Fc Coach, he noted that he is just a sponsor of the tournament.
He further noted that though he has been hinted by the reporter but members of the Local Organizing Committee would have the final say on the matter, adding that cementing the relationship between the Ijaws and Itsekiris through the tournament remains the ultimate aim of the competition.
Nevertheless, when this reporter tries to contact Chief Ojogun to get his reaction, he could not take his calls nor respond to calls put across to his mobile phone.