By Godwin Aikigbe
Sunshine Stars head coach, Duke Udi, says he can’t be relieved of his duties via a message on social media platform Whatsapp.
Speaking on Sports Tonight on Channels Television on Tuesday, the former Nigeria midfielder said a journalist called to tell him of a message on Whatsapp by Ondo State Commissioner for Sports, Saka Ogunleye, asking him to step aside after a training session on Tuesday evening.
Udi maintained he had yet to be communicated officially, adding that he expected things to be handled professionally , and that the club must honour his one-year contract and offset his two months’ salaries and sundry allowances.
“He said: “Sunshine have yet to officially communicate to me their decision to have me step aside. On my way from training on Tuesday evening, a journalist called to tell me he had read a message on Whatsapp telling me to step aside. If they don’t want my services, I should be communicated officially and not read about it in the pages of newspapers or social media.
“I have a one-year contract with the club, which terms they have to honour. Besides, I did not sign the contract with the Commissioner for Sports so he cannot sack me.
“I am being owed two months salaries and some bonuses, and I expect the club to pay up. I wanted to leave after saving them from relegation last season, but they begged me to stay and now they think they can fire me unprofessionally, even when we are not doing badly in the league?
“I shall be at training tomorrow morning to continue my work with the team because I have not been sacked officially.”
In a separate telephone conversation with the same medium, Ondo State Commissioner for Sports, Saka Ogunleye, didn’t deny sacking Udi via Whatsapp, but maintained he was only asked to step aside for issues to be resolved.
He insisted that it was a family matter that will be resolved amicably, adding that the coach was being punished for insubordination towards Chairman of Ondo State Football Agency Tajudeen Akinyemi, whose query to the coach was not answered.
He said: “This is a family matter that will be resolved amicably. The order to make Udi step aside came from Chairman of Ondo State Football Agency, Tajudeen Akinyemi. Udi is being asked to step aside for insubordination. He had refused to answer a query from the chairman. This is why we are asking him to step aside until issues are resolved.
“We expect him at training tomorrow because he can’t be served the letter when not around.”
Udi becomes the second coach in the Nigeria Professional Football League to be sacked in the last 24 hours, after John Obuh was relieved of his duties at Kwara United on Monday due a string of poor results. He is being replaced by former Niger Tornadoes handler Abubakar Bala.