Coach Did Not Want More Foreigners: Why Sokari’s Move to Esperance Collapsed

Tunisian club Esperance have explained that they reneged on contractual agreement with Enyimba for the services of Kingsley Sokari because they concluded the numbers of foreign players in their squad was sufficient and that coach José Anigo had opted to keep Ivoirian Fousseni Coulibaly instead of the Nigerian.

Sokari, 20, arrived in Tunis to negotiate a deal and complete a possible medical after helping Nigeria to a second-round finish at the Fifa U-20 World Cup in New Zealand in June, but the much publicised move inadvertently fell through.

Enyimba had earlier revealed they opted out of the midfielder’s transfer because Esperance failed to pay the agreed fee, but the Tunis side has now claimed they decided against signing Sokari due to the large number of foreign players in their team.

“Esperance Sportive de Tunis manager waived the recruitment of Nigerian Kingsley Sokari after consultation with the coach Jose Anigo,” the club said in a statement.

“Indeed given the number of foreigners already present, our club would rather enlist a foreign player more in line with the needs of the team.

It also claimed that the coach was convinced to “retain returnee Coulibaly in his squad at the expense of the Nigerian.”

Nigerian striker Emem Eduok and Flying Eagles forward Bernard Bulbwa are already playing for the Tunisian side.