Nigerian champions Lobi Stars lost 3-0 to Mamelodi Sundowns due to lack of information on the eligibility of one of its players before the match, coach of the side Solomon Ogbeide has said.
Lobi’s chances of progressing to the quarter-finals of the Caf Champions League suffered a huge setback with the aforementioned loss to the South African powerhouse.
Thapelo Morena, Themba Zwane and Lebohang Maboe netted the goals that gave the South African side the win which confirmed their place in the last eight, leaving the Pride of Benue with a mathematical chance of joining them.
But Ogbeide, whose team take on former African champions Asec Mimosas this weekend, said Lobi’s failure to know before the match that Alex Otakho, one of the club’s dependable midfielders, was not eligible for the match remained their greatest undoing.
He made this known on Friday at the club’s adopted home, Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu.
He said: ”Everybody in a football club is important. So, any mistake made by anybody is visited on the team and information is very vital and we should improve on it.
”It was in South Africa that we learnt that Otakho was ineligible and Caf is an organised authority and they do not make mistake.
”We expect that players and their booking should be communicated to clubs days before their match for teams to get their house in order.
”This will help to produce the best team at the end of the competition.”
According to Ogbeide, ”had it been that I knew before hand, my preparation would have taken another dimension without the midfielder and we would have come out of the match unscathed.”
The Nigerian side can still make it to the next round, but that is if they beat Asec with a high goal margin and Sundowns defeat Wydad in Casablanca in the other game.