There was absolute air of disappointment in the sport sphere in Ibadan as the legendary Shooting Stars Football Club of Ibadan on Wednesday failed to make the cut for promotion to Nigeria’s premier league division known as the Nigeria Professional football League (NPFL), following their defeat to the Insurance of Benin Football Club, a defeat which confirms that the 3SC football club will again play at the second tier football league.
Shooting Stars came up an abysmal third in their group of four in the NNL Super 8 competition meant to determine the four teams that will qualify to play in the Nigerian Professional Football league NPFL. In the game played at the Aba township stadium. Shooting Stars lost to Insurance Football Club of Benin by 1:0 despite the fact that Insurance of Benin played with 10 men.
The Insurance of Benin had already qualified for the NPFL before the last match against 3SC with maximum six points having defeated Delta Force of Asaba by 3:0 and Remo stars by 1:0. Thus many 3SC fans expected the Oluyole warriors to capitalize and defeat the Benin Arsenal who were reduced to 10 men during the game.
The defeat condemned the Oluyole warriors to another season in the second division of Nigerian football, a reality that is bitter to swallow for some fans of the legendary football club.
Earlier, in a bid to boost the morale of players, the governorship aspirant under the umbrella of the All Progressives Congress in the state, Bayo Adelabu had promise a cash reward for the players if they make the cut for promotion to the NPFL.
Meanwhile, reacting to the development, some fans express their support for the coach and the team, urging them to learn their lesson and prepare for the upcoming football season.
A fan, Fapohunda Femi John wrote, “…the 11years Bendel Insurance in the NNL should even be a greater motivation for the 3SC.” He advised the coach not to sulk in defeat. Another fan Obisanya Tunde Adeni noted, “We are together, one love, by the grace of God we will be in professional league next year. Amen.”
Rasheed Bamigbose, encouraged the Coach Edith Agoye, noting, “Your time is close! Remain focused no matter what. You are simply one of the very few teachers of the game around… Better luck in the new season.”
Meanwhile, some fans also appealed to the government to pay more attention to sports development in the state and particularly for more support for the team to encourage them to give their best in the forthcoming season so as to continually perform optimally for the good of sports in Oyo state.
A fan Segun Special wrote, “We should focus on next NNL season, this promotion battle failed because a lot of things went wrong. The people we competed against were well motivated. Their state governments and owners spent a lot of money on the team for them to progress, but that was not the case of shooting Stars”