Duke Udi only stepped aside – Ondo government official

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The Ondo State Government says former Sunshine Stars FC chief coach Duke Udi remains its employee in spite of his being disengaged from the Akure-based club’s coaching set-up.

The state’s Commissioner for Sports and Youth Development,Saka Yusuf-Ogunleye, told newsmen in Akure that Udi was still a staff of a government parastatal in charge of the club.

The state government through the commissioner had said on Tuesday that the coach had been told to step aside.

Yusuf-Ogunleye, in a statement, had added that the club’s Technical Director, Henry Abiodun, had been directed to oversee the activities of the team.

“Udi was asked to step aside because of his rude attitude towards the management of the agency and players of the club.

“The coach was invited to clarify some issues at a point, and he walked out on the management of the agency.

“He is not sacked. He still has government properties in his possession. If we sacked him, we would have collected all the government properties in his possession.

“He is still an employee of the football agency, the Ondo State Football Agency (ODSFA),’’ he said.

The commissioner went on to claim that Udi lied about not receiving his salaries regularly.

“He gets paid when the agency pays its employees their salaries. However, we will let the whole world know as it goes,” he said.

Yusuf-Ogunleye said the present administration in the state met on ground debts totaling about N400 million, being money owed staff and management of the team of the agency.

He said the state government has paid the nine months debt being owed the athletes of Ondo State Sports Council.

Earlier, the Chairman of ODSFA,Tajudeen Akinyemi, had told newsmen that coach Udi become a bad influence on the entire team after failing to lead well.

Tajudeen listed some of the sins of the coach to include gross insubordination, refusal to answer issued queries, disrespecting constituted authorities serially and discord in his relationship with players and officials.

He added that the coach always disregarded members of the sports media after matches by not granting post-match interviews.

Akinyemi said coach Abiodun,who possess a CAF “A’’ Licence, would be assisted on the job by Kayode Julius, a former player of the club who has a CAF “B’’ Licence.

The chairman said the club was owing players and management staff seven match bonuses out of which four had been paid, while the agency staff had been paid their salaries up till December.

Sunshine Stars are currently placed 17th on the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) log and will take on Yobe Desert Stars of Damaturu on Sunday.