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Confed Cup: Uchendu warns  Plateau, Rivers Utd against complacency

Ifeanyi Eduzor

Former Julius Berger and Dolphins Fc of Port Harcourt player John Kingsley Uchendu has advised CAF Confederation Cup campaigners, Plateau United and Rivers United to learn from their mistakes in the preliminary round of the CAF Champions League and ensure they get it right at the second tier of  the continental football showpiece.

Both teams a fortnight ago  failed to beat their North African opponents in the return leg of their final preliminary round  matches that would have enabled them play in the Group stage of the lucrative Champions League thereby going down to the Confederation Cup and Uchendu believes they must not disappoint this time around.

In an exclusive interview with our correspondent, he explained that for both teams to make any meaningful impact at the Confed Cup, they must ensure they field their best players in all their matches and avoid giving unnecessary respect to their opponents especially to teams from North Africa.

” It’s sad that no Nigerian team was able to make it to the Group stage of the lucrative Champions League but since both Plateau United and Rivers United are now in the second tier League, they should take all their games serious and ensure they score many goals at home especially if they are hosting the first leg to make the away game easier.

” Coaches Fidelix Ilechukwu and Stanley Eguma are good tactically and I expect them to use their wealth of experience in selecting their best players for any game so that they can go far in the competition.

Uchendu was particularly not happy with the Confederation of African Football ( CAF) over selection of referees for matches which he says favours North African teams.

” It beats my imagination that CAF will select an Egyptian referee to handle a game involving Nigerian and Moroccan clubsides or vice versa. This to me is unfair because it does not give room for fair officiating and it’s high time Nigeria Football Federation take up this matter with CAF because it does not help in the development of African Football”, he concluded.