Football fans rejoice over Egwim’s recovery, return to Enugu Rangers


Football fans in Ebonyi have expressed joy over Ifeanyi Egwim’s recovery and return to active football after he suffered an injury that kept him out of the pitch since 2016.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Egwim sustained the injury during the final match of the 2015/16 Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) between Rangers International FC of Enugu and El-Kanemi Warriors of Maiduguri.
Rangers won the match 4-0 in front of their teeming fans and Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu state at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium to clinch the league title after 32 years.
Happily, Egwim, who had not played football since then, returned to action on Wednesday during Rangers 2-1 win over Kwara United in Ilorin.
A cross-section of football fans, who spoke on the development in an interview with NAN in Abakiliki, thanked God for the player’s recovery.
The fans also expressed gratitude to Ugwuanyi and the club’s management for standing by him throughout the period of his travail.
Jude Emeagha, former Junior Rangers FC skipper, urged other governors and soccer administrators in the country to emulate Ugwuanyi’s legendary support and care for sportsmen and women in the state.
Emeagha recalled that Ugwuanyi promise in the aftermath of the injury that the state government would ensure that Egwim got the best medical treatment to enable him to return to action.
He said that the governor immediately directed that the player be flown abroad for immediate treatment.
He expressed happiness that three years after, Egwim did not only recover fully but returned to action.
Also, Chika Nwangele, Ebonyi United FC captain, applaued Rangers’ management for not abandoning the player during his ordeal.
Nwangele said: “The management stood by the player all through his trying period, gave him the needed support to keep the hope of playing football again alive.
“The fact that Egwim was not off-loaded to another club during his inactive period but given the chance to play again on Wednesday in Ilorin shows that Rangers is truly a professional club.” Chief Bede Okpuofe also hailed Egwim’s teammate for identifying with him while he was undergoing treatment.
“I was at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium that day when Egwim sustained the injury with barely five minutes for the team to be crowned the league champions.
“Almost all the Rangers players on the pitch cried and could not celebrate with the trophy in solidarity with him,” Okpuofe said.
Mrs Anna Echefu said that the show of solidarity and professionalism by Rangers accounted for their brilliant performance since 2016.
Echefu said that after breaking the jinx in 2016, Rangers went ahead to win the AITEO Cup (formerly called the Federation Cup) in 2018 after 34 years.
She also said that the club qualified for the group stage of the 2018 CAF Confederation Cup and presently topping the NPFL table. (NAN)

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