By Motolani Oseni
Strategic partners to the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL), GTI Asset Management and Trust Limited, have expressed great shock following the attack on Thursday by hoodlums against Sunshine Stars FC travelling team for their Match Day 13 NPFL encounter against Bendel Insurance of Benin. The match was slated for Saturday, December 9, 2023.
GTI Head of Media and Publicity, Andrew Ekejiuba who condemned the attack via a press statement to journalists in Lagos on Friday stated with a tinge of regret that the dastardly act came at a time when the Nigeria Premier Football League was undergoing serious restructuring and evolution.
“We commiserate with the management, staff and players of Sunshine Stars over this disheartening incident and we wish those injured speedy recovery.
“However, we call on all the security agencies in the country to step up their surveillance on our highways, especially during this yuletide season and ensure our players and club officials are duly secured before, during and after matches,” he said.
Earlier, Sunshine Star’s Media Officer Michael Akintunde while giving details of the incident thanked the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) that helped rescue the injured officials and the shot individuals to a nearby hospital.
Reacting, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the NPFL, Prince Davidson Owumi confirmed the sad incident to GTI and further stated that the Match Day 13 encounter between Bendel Insurance and Sunshine Stars will now hold on Sunday, December 10, 2023 at Sam Ogbemudia Stadium Benin.
He added that the Sunshine Stars team who are already in Benin had expressed their readiness and willingness to go ahead with the tie despite the unfortunate attack.
Meanwhile, Shooting Stars FC of Ibadan management has joined GTI and other NPFL clubs to express sadness over the attack on Sunshine Stars bus by suspected hoodlums, as the Oluyole Warriors described the incident as disheartening. They extended their heartfelt sympathy to Sunshine Stars as they go through the horrible experience and wished the injured officials a quick recovery.