OPINION: Exploring the Reasons Behind Enyimba and Remo Stars’ CAF Champions League Exit

Enyimba and Remo

The recent exits of Enyimba Football Club and Remo Stars Football Club from the CAF Champions League have left football enthusiasts pondering the recurring struggles of Nigerian club sides in continental competitions. As football enthusiasts continue to debate these early exits, it becomes evident that multiple factors have contributed to their unfortunate fate. In this article, I’ve identified just three problems I think may have cause their early exits. They are;

1. Lack of Rest and Rigorous Schedule

One of the glaring factors that influenced Enyimba and Remo Stars’ performances in the CAF Champions League is the absence of adequate rest. Following a demanding domestic league season, which saw both teams participate in the abridged Nigeria Premier Football League, they proceeded to the Super Six tournament in Lagos to determine the NPFL champion. Without much reprieve, they then participated in the Naija Super 8 football competition in July. This packed schedule allowed the players minimal time to recover and prepare for the continental challenge in August. The cumulative fatigue and lack of rest undoubtedly impacted their performance on the continental stage.

2. Disruption in Team Continuity

Continuity is a key factor in building successful football teams. Both Enyimba and Remo Stars underwent significant changes in their squads, resulting in disruptions to the established chemistry and understanding among players. Enyimba, for instance, bid farewell to 11 first-team players who were instrumental in their previous successes. This departure led to the introduction of new players who, though talented, needed time to gel with the existing squad and adapt to the team’s playing style. Similarly, Remo Stars’ rapid recruitment of players, while reminiscent of the Galactico era of Real Madrid, left little room for team cohesion and synergy to develop before their CAF Champions League campaign.

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3. Lack of Preparatory Time

Following their participation in the abridged league, during which both teams engaged in a total of 18 matches, the reigning champions of the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL), Enyimba, and Remo Stars moved directly to the Super Six event held in Lagos to determine the NPFL champion in June 2023. Subsequently, they were swiftly thrust into the inaugural Naija Super 8 football competition, a 10-day pre-season tournament organized by Flykite Production, which was played in July 2023 at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena in Onikan, Lagos.

The brief interval of less than a month prevented both teams from adequately recuperating or obtaining sufficient preparation time before embarking on their CAF Champions League journey in August 2023, which ultimately led to their premature exits from the competition. This lack of preparation time in my opinion significantly hindered their ability to make a strong start in a competition of such immense significance.


While the recent performances of Nigerian club sides in continental competitions have raised concerns, there is a silver lining in the potential for improvement over the long term. The experiences of Enyimba and Remo Stars serve as valuable lessons that highlight the importance of managing schedules, nurturing squad continuity, and providing adequate preparation time for crucial matches. The success of teams like Enyimba in past seasons demonstrates that Nigerian football possesses the talent and potential required to excel on the continental stage.


In conclusion, the premature exits of Enyimba and Remo Stars from the CAF Champions League can be attributed to a combination of factors including a lack of rest, disruptions in squad continuity, and inadequate preparatory time. These challenges underscore the need for a holistic approach to managing the schedules and development of Nigerian club sides. While immediate success may have been elusive, the experiences gained from these setbacks can contribute to the long-term growth and competitiveness of Nigerian football on the continental stage.