28th February, 2012
Fans of Sunshine Stars of Akure went on the rampage on Sunday evening at the Dipo Dina International Stadium, Ijebu-Ode, after the Ondo State-owned club were held to a goalless draw by former league champions, Enyimba International of Aba.
The football-loving Ijebu-Ode fans had defied the light rain that fell before the start of the highly-rated Week 10 NPL match, as they trooped to the venue of the match a few hours before 4 p.m., the scheduled kick off time of the encounter.
The centre referee’s final whistle at the end of the match hit Sunshine fans hard, as the much-talked about tie ended in a barren draw. It was like a bitter pill for the fans to swallow, considering the fact that Sunshine had lost their previous away match to Gombe United by 1-0.
To show their displeasure to the team, some of the irate fans who found their way into the stand of the home team, began to rain abusive words on their players.
Trouble started when one of the fans, whose identity cannot be identified, threw out the cooler containing table water of the home team, an act which infuriated one of the officials of Sunshine. The official’s attempt to stop the fans from destroying other belongings of the team led to a free-for-all between the fans and officials of Sunshine.
It took a timely intervention of the policemen on duty and some of the neutral fans in the stadium to quell the fracas.
Speaking with P.M.Sports, one of the angry fans said: “We don’t want Sunshine to play in our stadium again. We can no longer tolerate their boring matches. We always leave other things to come and watch them.”
A young male supporter, who simply identified himself as Tobi, also said that Sunshine Stars always disappoint their fans in big matches.
He recalled the draw they played against Dolphins in last season’s title decider and their failure to win any match during the Super Four at the Ijebu-Ode Stadium.
He said: “How long do we have to come to the stadium only to watch our team play below expectations? We can’t take it any more.”
While talking to newsmen after the rampage, Sunshine coach, Gbenga Ogunbote, pleaded with the fans not to be annoyed with their performance this season.
The coach promised the fans that with time, the team would improve their performance, adding that the new players the club just signed are beginning to gel with the rest of the team.