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Sports News of Wednesday, 17 November 2021


CAF Confed: Eguma laments losing home advantage

Stanley Eguma Stanley Eguma

Stanley Eguma, head coach of Nigeria Professional Football League side, Rivers United, has expressed concern after the club had their venue changed barely two weeks to the first leg of the CAF Confederation Cup game against Al Masry of Egypt.

The Port-Harcourt-based club on Monday in a statement said it had adopted the Enyimba Township Stadium Aba, as their home ground for their continental game after CAF rejected the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium to host the continental showpiece.

Despite hosting the match between Rivers United and Young Africans of Tanzania on September 19, the African Football Governing Body stated that the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium was not in the right condition to host continental matches at the moment.

A decision that had left the management of Rivers United to adopt the Aba stadium as their temporary home for the game. “The Enyimba International Stadium Aba will act as our home ground for the CAF Total Energies Confederation Cup Additional Round Playoff tie against Al Masry of Egypt on 28th November 2021,” Rivers United said in a statement.

Speaking with The PUNCH, Eguma said playing away from home would deprive the team some advantages but was quick to add that they would live up to expectations.

He said, “Your home will always be your home by all standards as long as football or other sport is a concern. When you play at home it is quite different from away because you are in your comfort zone.

“We know that everyone performs better when they are at their comfort zone and the support, the encouragement you get at home. You cannot be sure of all these when you are playing away from home but we will not allow this to affect our result and it doesn’t mean the team will not be ready to play psychologically.

“The competition is a home and away encounter but the issue now is those home advantages that we were supposed to enjoy, we will not get them in totality because we are playing away from our traditional ground.

“This is definitely going to affect the psychology of the players but the ability to psyche them up is up to us (coaching crew) and let them know that in football you can win anywhere.”

“We will be ready to take the new ground as our home and acclimatise with it. We will get used to the people and the environment and I am sure by doing these we will get the needed results.”