The Return Of Dominic Iorfa To Lobi Stars

March 21 19:06 2022

The Return Of Dominic Iorfa To Lobi Stars

The return of former Nigerian international, Dominic Iorfa, as the vice-chairman of Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) side, Lobi Stars of Makurdi did not come to many as a surprise, as the rumors have been on before the Week 19 league matches were played.

This followed the abysmal performance of the team and the resignation of the former vice-chairman, Emmanuel Tama Aondofa, on Monday, March 21.

Lobi Stars are presently second from bottom with a paltry 19 points out of a possible 45 points from 19 matches played in the first stanza of the league.

The Deputy Governor of Benue State, Engineer Benson Abounu, who doubles as Chairman of Lobi Stars, accepted Tama’s resignation on behalf of the government and announced Iorfa as his replacement.

He also dissolved the Tama Aondofa led management committee to pave way for people with fresh ideas to come on board for the needed resurgence in the club’s performances.

Before now, the Deputy Governor had expressed disappointment that despite gulping over N37million monthly, the club is still struggling for life at the topflight of the Nigerian domestic league.

Consequently, he directed the former vice-chairman to win the NPFL Week 19 match against Enugu Rangers or face dire consequences.

Unfortunately, Lobi Stars travelled to Awka and were beaten 5-3 which left the embattled vice-chairman with no other option than to throw in the towel on Monday morning.

Dominic Iorfa was born on 1 October 1968. He was a Nigerian former professional footballer. He was born in Gboko, Benue State.

Iorfa played professionally in England, Scotland, Turkey, Ireland and Belgium.

Renowned for his electric pace but less than stunning control, he became a cult figure at many of the Clubs he played for, particularly at Peterborough United where his name is still occasionally shouted during dull periods of matches.

He signed for Queens Park Rangers in March 1990 for a transfer fee of £145,000 from Royal Antwerp. While playing only 8 first team games for Rangers he certainly earned the affection of many of the Rangers fans, despite regularly featuring in recent years in lists of “Worst ever Rangers Players”. His career at Rangers started brightly with him scoring a hat-trick on his debut for the reserves v Reading on 3 April 1990 in a 3–2 home win. A few weeks earlier he had scored another hat-trick in a reserve game on 13 February 1990 whilst on trial with Millwall versus Queens Park Rangers in a 4–3 victory for Millwall. This performance influenced Rangers to sign him. He made his first team debut coming on as substitute in the last match of the season in the 2–3 home defeat against Wimbledon on 5 May 1990. Dominic was lightning fast but he struggled to master the off side rule and eventually faded out of contention at Rangers with his last first team game being away to Tottenham Hotspur in a 2–0 defeat on 14 September 1991.

On his debut for Aylesbury United he scored 2 goals, wearing his yellow “banana” boots. In his next game he was about to enter the field of play as a substitute when he had an altercation with the linesman and was given a red card. He never played for Aylesbury again.

He enjoyed a successful spell in the League of Ireland Premier Division with Waterford United and was adored by the fans, despite missing a penalty on his debut. To this day, his yellow Puma boots are still worn by the clubs kitman who received the boots off Iorfa shortly before he left the club.

Iorfa represented Nigeria on four occasions, including a starting place in the third-place playoff match against Mexico at the 1995 King Fahd Cup. He had previously featured in the 1988 Summer Olympics while playing twice for the Nigeria under-23 team.

Meanwhile, the new vice-chairman who led Lobi Stars to their first and only FA Cup triumph in 2003 when they defeated defunct Sharks of Port-Harcourt 2-0 in Kaduna has been mandated to rescue the club from relegation in the 2022 NPFL season.

He was full of appreciation to the government of the state for finding him worthy “I thank the government for finding me worthy of this appointment. This assignment is a tough one but by the Special grace of God, I am not going to disappoint those who trusted me with the onerous task.

“Desperate times require desperate measures. I am going to swing into action immediately because this is familiar terrain for me. This is what I know how to do best.

“However, I can not do it alone. I, therefore, call on all genuine football stakeholders in Benue to contribute their quota for us to succeed in this rescue operation,” he said.

Iorfa was first appointed Lobi Stars vice-chairman in 2001 and was in the saddle for nearly 14 years, winning one Football Association (FA) Cup and playing in the finals of the same competition in 2005, 2012 and 2016.

He also led Lobi Stars to finish third in the 2012/2013 league season behind Kano Pillars and Rangers which fetched the club a CAF Confederation Cup ticket.

The former Super Eagles and Queens Park Rangers of England striker then stepped down from his position in 2016 after nearly 14 years to go down in history as one of the longest-serving club chairmen in Nigeria.

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