It’s been regarded as one of the biggest game in the country considering what both clubs have acquired over time.
The most interesting thing about this fixture is that, both teams have something to lose aside pride. Enyimba FC are on 4th position trying to leapfrog Akwa United for continental competition, on the other hand, Rivers United need this game to probably get out of the relegation battle.
The tension in both camps are high prior to this game and that might have caused some arguments between home fans, and the visiting team, Enyimba FC who went to the Yakubu Gowon Stadium on Saturday for their light training session.
Here is the release from Enyimba FC:
“Enyimba Football Club condemns in the strongest terms possible, the alarming conduct of supporters of Rivers United during our visit to the Yakubu Gowon stadium in Port Harcourt on Saturday for our training session ahead of the Week 35 NPFL game with the club.
We are shocked and outraged that supporters of Rivers United chased our team out of the stadium, threatening to shoot them down. Our staff who captured these actions had their phones seized and pushed down staircases. This is totally unacceptable.
Such abhorrent display of hooliganism has no place in our football and we call on the League Management Company to investigate the actions of these persons and ensure that the Rivers State Football Association provides great security on Sunday to prevent the loss of life.
Already they have declared that there would be bloodshed and loss of lives if Rivers United do not win on Sunday. Should threat to life become a part of our football if a team is desperate to win? The referees have already been replaced. These are calculated attempts to win unjustly and unfairly and we must collectively condemn these actions of the supporters of Rivers United, acting in the full glare of their officials.
That Rivers United are trying to escape relegation from the Nigeria Professional Football League does not give their supporters the right to threaten and physically assault our staff.
Our players have been disturbed deeply by the actions of these hooligans and while this may be the purpose of Saturday’s hostility, we are demanding for a great security presence on match day. The situation at the stadium today was horrible and we are holding meetings right now to assess the situation and decide whether we would honour the game because the lives of our players and officials are in grave danger.”
Then the home team, Rivers United responded with this release.
“Rivers United Football Club of Port Harcourt have noticed with dismay reports in some sections of social media that some of our supporters attacked players and officials of Enyimba International FC of Aba on Saturday, August 19, 2017.
Our findings so far have revealed that some individuals did disrupt the training session of Enyimba International FC at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Port Harcourt.
We however wish to state that these individuals are in no way affiliated to Rivers United FC of Port Harcourt.
Rivers United as a respected football Institution in Nigeria and Africa does not in any way support or condone violence, hooliganism or any sort of misconduct from players, management, fans and supporters alike.
We have a history of being a law abiding club that promotes unity and friendship through football.
Rivers United have drawn and lost domestic matches in Port Harcourt in the past and in all of those situations, there was never any report of violence or hooliganism of any sort.
While we sympathize with Enyimba International FC for the incidents of today, we also wish to state that the Rivers State Football Association have already set up mechanisms in conjunction with security agencies to fish out the perpetrators of the incidents of today.
We also wish to state that security has been beefed up for our match day 35 game against Enyimba International at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Port Harcourt to ensure that the game passes on without any negative incident (s).
Once again, we sympathize with Enyimba International FC of Aba for the unfortunate incidents of today.”