Amaechi Daniella Ojini, former player of Rivers Angels of Port Harcourt has a pathetic tale to tell while describing her football sojourn with the Rivers State-based women’s team.
It was a sad story that revealed how, while on duty in one of the Rivers Angles outings, she was caught with an unexpected injury, instead of the club’s management rallying around her, she was abandoned and left to fend for herself.
Ojini, a Nigerian footballer, who plays as a forward and midfielder, was seen on her Facebook page telling the world that she needs help to undergo a knee surgery that will cost her N3.5m.
The player, who started her career at Tin City Jos in 2008, played for Adamawa Queens, Pelican Stars and Confluence Queens narrated her story thus: “Hi everyone, my name is Amaechi Daniella Ojini,I am from Imo State, but I was born and brought up in Jos, Plateau State. I am a footballer and former player of Rivers Angels Football Club of Portharcourt. I joined Rivers Angels in 2016, then in 2020 before the league started, I signed three years (3) contract with the club for the 2020/2021 season.
Then after playing two league games for them, the league went on break. Rivers Angels management took us to play a novelty match with an All-Star Team in Omuma, a local government in Rivers State. I was among the players who played the match.
After the match, my left knee started swelling and paining me seriously. When we got back to Port Harcourt after the next training session, I told the coach, Edwin Okon, that my knee was paining me and that I need to treat it, he said it was okay. He asked how long it would take. I replied that I would not know. I was later introduced to one man that a native doctor who usually comes to the camp every day to treat me while I paid his transport fare apart from the fee he charged me for the treatment.
The Coaches and Team Manager (Mrs Matilda Otuene) were all aware of the injury and treatment but they didn’t pay, contribute or help me with a single dime to pay for my treatment, even the drugs the man prescribed for me, I bought all of them with my personal money without any help from the club.
Then I started recovering little by little. We later went for the Super Six Tournament in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State. I played a match in that tournament and we won the league.
After we came back to Port Harcourt, I was dropped from the team despite having an existing contract with Rivers Angels. The club refused to give me my clearance even when it’s stated in the form they gave all the players that when the club drops a player, the management will pay such player off and give her a free clearance, but in my case, this clause was denied me, only to ask me to leave the team. This the club did even when the management knew that I sustained the injury while playing for them.
I employed the services of a lawyer to help me fight for my rights and for them to pay me off since I have an existing contract with the club, all to no avail. Surprisingly, Mrs Matilda Otuene had to tell the lawyer that I didn’t play 10 per cent of the league matches for the club, whereby there were many players that have been in that team for more than five years but had not played up to 10 matches for the club.
I was devastated.
I went to Bayelsa Queens to try my luck but someone informed them that I was nursing a knee injury. They couldn’t give me any contract. The same thing also happened when I went to Nasarawa Amazon, they couldn’t sign me because of that same injury I sustained while playing for Rivers Angels Football Club.
I later underwent an X-ray and MRI after visiting an orthopaedic surgeon where it was discovered that I was suffering from an ACL injury (Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury) which is going to cost me N3.5 million for the surgery.
I have exhausted all my money going for the native treatment to see if I will be healed so that I can return back to the field again all to no avail because I cannot afford the N3.5m for the surgery.
I am begging the Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL ) Board, the Nigeria Football Federation and lovers of football to come to my aid so that I can do this surgery.
Thanks and God bless you all.”