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Nigerian champions, Enugu Rangers, after its 2-2 draw in their CAF Confederation Cup clash against Zambian outfit Zesco United at home on Sunday sent a directive to the clubs coach Imama Amapakabo to step down.

Rangers General Manager Christian Chukwu disclosed the reason the coach was fired saying, “the team is now above the coach and he has lost his dressing room”.

Former Super Eagles coach Chukwu said Amapakabo’s assistant Chukwuma Agbo had been appointed as the team’s caretaker manager.

“We are looking for a coach to take over the team — but  Agbo will be in charge until we appoint a substantive coach,” the former Kenya coach denied reports that an old player of the Sylvanus Okpalla side had been approached for the job.

He added, “Whether you say; the coach (Amapakabo) has been suspended, sacked or fired, the most important thing is that we will appoint a new coach. But he has not been given a letter terminating his contract; he is only suspended for now.”

Chukwu said the state government, which owns the club, was not happy with the team’s poor run of form in the domestic league, hence the management decided to fire the coach.

But Amapakabo, who was crucial in the campaign of the Flying Antelopes winning the Nigerian top flight for the first time in 32 years,  insists  he remains the coach of the team.

“The job is about hiring and firing. In America, they say a coach has been fired while the British will say the coach has been sacked,” said Amapakabo.

“I have not received any letter telling me that I have either been fired or sacked — not even a letter of suspension.

“I have only been reading about it on the  internet. I was with the team on Sunday when we played Zesco United and we are already planning for the return leg. We have a lot of work to do.”

The coach however refused to comment on the terms of his contract.

Rangers are currently last in the 20-team league with 13 points from 14 matches.

They crashed out of the CAF Champions League in the second round of qualifiers after losing 5-2 on aggregate to  Zamalek.

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