Nigerian football clubs have been striving hard to etch their names on both national and continental levels. Consequently, the country’s clubs are beginning to gain global recognition, especially after their participation and representation in some international tournaments and friendlies. This is, however, only true for some clubs given that they are ‘bigger’ than others in terms of success. Did you know that amongst all the clubs in Nigerian football, Enyimba International Football Club is regarded as the most successful?
Enyimba: The People’s Elephant
Enyimba, which means “People’s Elephant” in Igbo, is Nigeria’s most successful football club. Also referred to as Enyimba of Aba, the international football club was founded in November 1976. It is owned by the Abia State Government and has its base at Aba. The team plays in the Enyimba International Stadium, which was built in 1992 with a grass playing surface and a capacity of about 25,000 (though some accounts state a much lower figure of 16000). The traditional or home strip/jersey is mostly blue and sometimes laced with white. The club is also known by the nicknames People’s Elephant or Aba Millionaires. As at the time of this writing, the club has the following titles to its name: Seven Nigerian Premier League Titles, Four Nigerian FA Cup titles, One National Second Division title, Four Nigerian super cup titles, Two CAF champions’ league and Two CAF super cups. This haul gives them a total of Twenty (20) official trophies.
The state-owned club was founded by the first director for sports in the then newly established Imo State, Jerry Amadi Enyeazu. The eventual creation of Abia state from Imo saw the football club fall within the region of its home, Aba, under Abia state. Enyimba, however, struggled as a football team and lacked consistency over a long period of time and seasons till the change of fortunes came when Orji Uzor Kalu was elected Governor of Abia State. This change was spurred by the generous funding and support the club enjoyed from the state government. It was within those periods that the club won its first Nigerian championship, as well as winning the Nigerian super cup by beating Dolphins two goals to nil. Both feats were achieved in 2001. From then on, Enyimba has been a force to be reckoned with in Nigerian and African football.
Enyimba International Club has also produced stars for the Nigerian National team such as Vincent Enyeama, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Mfon Udoh, Dele Aiyenugba, Chinedu Udoji, etc. The club has also been coached by prominent Nigerian coaches such as Shuaibu Amodu, Augustine Egauveon, Daniel Amokachi, Kadiri Ikhana, and foreign coaches like Maurice Cooreman of Belgium, Michael Urukalo of Australia and Kosta Papic of Croatia. It is also reported that the revenue base of Enyimba is estimated at about ten million euros, thereby making it one of the richest clubs in the continent of Africa.
http://www.nigerianfinder.com accessed 14/01/2019
https://en.m.wikipedia.org>wiki>enyimba accessed 15/01/2019
Featured image source: twitter.com