Officials of Malian club, AS Real Bamako were spotted at the weekend in Ibadan, keeping a close watch and taking notes on the activities of reigning Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) runners-up, Rivers United FC.
The officials (one of them, a cameraman) were spotted at the Lekan Salami Stadium during club’s training session on Saturday, February 4 and 24 hours later at the same venue when Rivers United lost 1-2 to Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) at the same venue in an NPFL contest.
Chief Coach of Rivers United, Willy Udube said he was informed of the development which ‘should not be a thing of worry for our fans’.
“I was informed that three officials from AS Real Bamako watched both our training session last weekend.
“To be honest, this should not be a thing of worry for our fans because we knew such a thing would happen; I will say it is normal practice.
“As a former footballer myself, I saw such things happen countless times when we played on the continent.
“We have been working hard ourselves to get a good result in Mali against AS Real Bamako and I am sure we will get a positive result,” he said.
Rivers United have never previously participated in Caf’s inter-club competitions in their one-year history.
The ‘Pride of Rivers’ will be guests of AS Real Bamako on Saturday at the Stade Omnisports Modibo Keïta, Bamako in the first leg of their preliminary round clash in Africa’s apex club competition.