Heartland FC : 29 Years After, The Unbelievable Tragedy Of Club Legends

Heartland FC reminisce on its fallen heroes 29 years after

Heartland FC on this day reminisces on its fallen heroes who’d passed on in Algeria as a result of plane crash npflupdates.com reports.

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It’s been 29 years since the players of an NPFL side, then Iwuanyanwu Nationale Football Club, but now Heartland FC were involved in a plane crash in Algeria.

The ungodly incident occurred at Tamaransett, a city in Southern Algeria. It happened when the squad was on their way back home from an African Cup of Champions now game(now CAF Champions League clash).

And the match was away to Esperance of Tunisia. The team were in a chartered BAC 1-11 owned by Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, who also is the owner of the football club at the time.

The then Nigerian champions at the time lost the tie in Tunis, suffering a 3-0 defeat.

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According to manager of the club, Coach Alphonsus Dike, They were to leave immediately after the match. But the Tunisian airport authorities delayed their departure by demanding payment of their fees in dollars. The authorities had rejected the traveler’s cheque which they used in making the payment.

Heartland FC reminisce on its fallen heroes 29 years after

And the authorities later collected the money after waiting for some hours. And because of that singular act, the team couldn’t buy aviation fuel in Tunis(Tunisia).

Of  course, this made the pilot to try and refuel in Algeria airport (which was the closest airport). And this was on their way back home. However, the official in the control tower refused permitting the plane to land. Henc, it crashed shortly after.

Heartland FC Coach emotional about ungodly plane crash

“There, (at the Algerian Airport), the man on the control tower refused to permit our aircraft from landing by denying our pilot signals, then the plane crashed.

“I think it was sheer wickedness on the part of the Algerian officials,” Coach Dike narrated in tears as quoted by a Twitter user.

At least about 30 persons survived, and while some were seriously wounded, two players lost their lives.

The players who lost their lives were identified as midfielder, Eghomwanre ‘Omale’ Aimanmwosa, and goalkeeper Uche Ikeogu. Also a victim of the clash are the two captains of the flight, and one Air Hostess, Miss. Obiageli Ezeh.

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Among the survivors were former Nigeria skipper and ex-coach, Christian Chukwu, former National Sports Commission director, Steve Olarinoye Bola Oyebode of the Nigeria Football Federation. Another survivor is Chief Amanze Uchegbulam former NFF 1st Vice president.

Sadly, Heartland FC has been unable to win the Nigerian Premier League trophy since after the crash.

However, they’re presented with an opportunity of winning it’s first title when the 2023/2024 NPFL season kicks off.

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