Elegbeleye bids Sunshine Stars farewell after relegation escape

The mastermind of the Owena Whales’ escape from demotion has left his role after accomplishing his mission

Otunba Gbenga Elegbeleye has stepped down as chairman Ondo State Football Agency interim management committee.

Elegbeleye, who was director-general of the National Sports Commission was brought on board to rescue Sunshine Stars from staring relegation in the face.

However, following the team’s victory over Remo Stars on the final day – which ensured Duke Udi’s men finished in 10th position, the seasoned sports administrator announced he would no longer occupy his esteemed position.

“I thank God we survived and I wish that next season, the club will do well and be able to win the league,” Elegbeleye told Goal.

“I will be supporting them from the background because my assignment is over [after Remo Stars game]. I am done with Sunshine Stars job.

“The assignment given to me by the governor was to paddle the team out of relegation and I feel great to have achieved that.”

The Owena Whales were banished to the Otunba Dipo Dina Stadium, Ijebu-Ode following their fans’ unruly behaviour against champions Plateau United in June. But he feels that was the tonic that propelled the team to retain their elite division status.

“Every home match was like an away game for us,” he continued.

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“In Ijebu-Ode, it was like playing in a strange land because you don’t have the cheering Akure fans, so that brought out the best in the team.

“It was evident in the way they were scoring goals and getting the results.”

Sunshine Stars are in contention for a silverware this season as they continue their Federation Cup battle against Ngwa FC in Abakaliki on Wednesday.