Vandrezzer FC Set Relocate From Akwa Ibom Over State Govt’s ‘Frustration’
Nigeria National League, NNL side Vandrezzer FC has concluded plans to leave Akwa Ibom State following reports of frustrations by the state government.
According to the Media Director of the club, George Essien on Comfort 95.1FM on Saturday, the club requested the state government to lease out Ikot Ekpene Township Stadium, which Vandrezzer has adopted as a temporary home since the club was established in 2019, but the request was bluntly denied by the State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Sir Monday Uko.
The Athletic NG gathers that the club requested to take full control of the stadium for a duration of five years, between 2021 to 2025, which would have generated millions of naira for the state government.
Further investigations revealed that the Sports Commissioner in a meeting with the management of Vandrezzer FC said the stadium will be used by state teams who are playing in the Nigeria National League and also stated that the stadium will be used for “political rallies.”
The Athletic NG also confirmed that Vandrezzer FC had offered to pay the State government a large sum of money which would have covered the duration of the five years leasing agreement, while the club will be responsible for the full maintenance of the facility.
Club sources told The Athletic NG that Vandrezzer FC had also offered to accommodate one of the state-owned teams in the NNL to play their matches in Ikot Ekpene. The Club has spent more than N10 million in renovating the stadium and had also successfully regrassed the pitch to give it a new look.
The administration of Governor Udom Emmanuel has pride itself with ‘industrialisation’ mantra and creating an enabling environment for private investors to invest in the state.
Gov Emmanuel during the 2020 budget presentation last year, said: “Sporting activities will continue to receive a boost through maintenance of the existing infrastructure, and provision of new sporting facilities to lift the standard of performance of our sportsmen and women to international level.”
The Athletic NG also confirms that Vandrezzer FC are in talks with Rivers State government to take over the Yakubu Gowon Stadium in Port Harcourt and are also in talks with the Lagos State Government for a possible relocation to Nigeria’s most populated state.
Discussions with Rivers State are believed to be in advance state, with the club scheduled to release official statement in the coming days.