Coach Fidelis Ilechukwu has distanced himself from a news published on Tuesday in a national newspaper which reported that players of Heartland are set to embark on a protest and also boycott the MatchDay 28 game against Oriental Derby rivals, FC Ifeanyi Ubah.
According to Ilechukwu, “This is just another fake news, a cheap means to distract my team and fuel unnecessary tension in Owerri.
“Let me state clearly that the players under my watch will never go on such protest or boycott any NPFL game. How would a Sports Journalist cook such a story when there is security challenges in the South East, let alone boycott an NPFL game.
“He should off course know the negative effects of such actions before he began writing his fake news where he quoted me.
“For record purposes, I did not grant such interview with any reporter on Monday or had a chat with any on social media platform, WhatsApp. I have taken time to go through the call log on phone and chats, no number of such from the reporter that claimed to have interviewed me.
“The reporter has gotten on my nerve and he must face the consequences, I intend to seek the advice of my lawyer before I decide to take him and medium to court. Since I started coaching I have never had any issues with the media as I see them as partners in progress. During interviews I chose my words carefully as I don’t want to be misquoted because I know the negative consequences.
“This is the kind of issues I want to avoid. Of late some media have said to my face that am been selective with who I grant interviews with.”
Speaking further, “I understand what the players are agitating for, like I have maintained, I want to use this medium to reassure the players that Governor Hope Uzodinma who is the club’s number one fan will take care of the situation.
“Like every other teams in the NPFL have their challenges and that of Heartland is no different. So all hands would be on deck to proffer solutions to them as we move on.”