Relegated FC Ifeanyi Ubah have voluntarily slipped further down ladder of the Nigerian league hierarchy after swapping their Nigeria National League (NNL) slot with that of a Nationwide League One (NLO) side, Cynosure FC of Abakaliki, Completesports.com can exclusively report.
This development comes on the heels of the Nnewi-based club’s demotion to the second-tier Nigerian league, NNL, at the end of the 2020/2021 Nigeria Professional Football League, NPFL.
FC Ifeanyi Ubah finished in a disappointing 19th position in the NPFL table at the end of the 2020/2021 campaign, hence their relegation.
Completesports.com understands that business mogul and financier of the club, Senator Ifeanyi Ubah, does not appear enthusiastic to continue bankrolling the club, and consequently decided to let go by swapping the Anambra Warriors’ NNL slot with Cynosure FC’s NLO spot. The Abakaliki-based club is owned and sponsored by Prince Chidiebere Nweze.
There are also speculations that Anambra State Government is desirous of taking over the FC Ifeanyi Ubah’s NLO slot with it’s new club. Checks reveal that with the NLO season set to get underway in March, FC Ifeanyi Ubah is yet to begin preparation.
The Anambra State Sports Commission is understood to be putting finishing touches to their plan of floating the State’s first ever football club with the NLO slot to be acquired from FC Ifeanyi Ubah in the offing.
“People have wondered why starting with NLO, but I told them it is important we started at all. We never had one in the past so nothing is wrong (for us) starting from NLO. Who knows, we can just work hard enough and get the lift to NNL in just one season,” Anambra FA Secretary Chijioke Onyedika told Completesports.com.
FC Ifeanyi Ubah management committee chairman, Prince Chukwuma Ubah, could not be reached when Completesports.com called him up on his mobile phone. But an official of the club confirmed the swap deal.
“Yes, the club’s slot has been transferred to Cynosure, that’s the much I can say for now”, the official said.
Prince Chidiebere Nwze, financier of Cynosure FC, is delighted with the prospect of his club featuring in the NNL this term. Nweze says it’s a realisation of his long dream to play in the Nigerian second-tier league.
“Yes, you are correct, we’ve acquired an NNL slot. We will be playing in the NNL this season after taking over FC Ifeanyi Ubah slot. I’m grateful to Senator Ifeanyi Ubah. This is a dream come true. I’ve for long aspired to be part of the NNL and I think that ambition has now materialised,” Nweze told Completesports.com.
Following the late take over, NNL Management granted the Cynosure FC a one week grace to complete their registration formalities before they could start playing.
2021/2022 NNL season got underway over the weekend, but Cynosure FC will start this coming weekend when they will file out against Calabar Rovers.
“We are still grappling with registration formalities. So we are not playing in the opening match of the season. We will start playing next (this) weekend against Calabar Rovers,” a dlighted club boss, Prince Nweze explained.
In 1998, Chief Gabriel Chukwuma acquired Iyayi Babes of Benin and renamed it Gabros International FC. In 1999, the club gained promotion to the Nigeria Professional League.
In 2015, Senator Ifeanyi Ubah acquired Gabros International and renamed it FC Ifeanyi Ubah. The following year, 2016, FC Ifeanyi Ubah won the Federation (Aiteo) Cup in their first attempt following a penalty shoot out win against favourites, Nasarawa United.
FC Ifeanyi Ubah made their continental competition debut in 2017, losing to Egyptian side, Al Masry, in the Preliminary Round.