.Okowa denies allegation of fund embezzlement

A massive shake up in the structure of Delta Queens FC of Asaba is imminent following the team’s failure to qualify for the 2023/23 CAF Women’s Champions League.

Delta Queens lost the CAF Champions League WAFU B ticket to Ampem Darkoa of Ghana, who beat them 1-0 in the final of the play-off in Benin City, Edo State, last week.

The Guardian learnt, yesterday, that Delta State government is not satisfied with the attitude of the team’s officials and some of the players, who, on the day of the final match, channeled their attention into payment of allowances, instead of focusing on the task of winning the match.

An official of the club alleged that officials of Delta State Sports Commission embezzled money released by the state government for the team during the competition.

According to the source, the club officials were only paid allowances for one day from July and August, and N60,000 for three match bonuses, and that they were denied Governor Sheriff Oborevwori’s approved $100 each daily allowance.

However, chairman of Delta Sports Commission, Tonobok Okowa, who rushed back from Budapest, venue of the 19th World Athletics Championships in Hungary to support Delta Queens FC, said there is no iota of truth in the allegation of fund embezzlement raised by the club officials.

“It is so sad that some of the club officials could behave this way,” Okowa told The Guardian, yesterday. “I rushed back from Budapest only to meet the players complaining about allowances. To boost their morale ahead of the final match, I borrowed money to pay the players and appealed to the officials to bear with us till when government money is released. I pleaded with the governor and he quickly approved the money, though it was not what we expected. The money came on the eve of the final match.

“I opened up to the officials that their money has been released, and that they will get it as soon as we sort out everything. Just before the final match at 3.30pm, news had started flying around that we embezzled their money.

“I didn’t expect such attitude from the officials considering the level of support we gave to the team. Maybe, if they had concentrated on the match, Delta Queens would have won the CAF Champions League ticket. Nobody is even thinking on how I will get my money back. I am really sad with this allegation,” Okowa stated.

For their behaviour during the WAFU B play-off, Okowa said of the officials and players “have to go.”

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