Uzoho: Lifeline for Omonoia?
It seemed like such a coup of the final day of the January transfer window. Anorthosis acquired Francis Uzoho on loan from Elche of the Spanish Second Division.
Uzoho is full of potential, 20 years old and already the starting goalkeeper for the Nigerian national team, including during the World Cup in Russia last year. Instead, he just might be the reason Anorthosis finish outside the top 6 required to qualify for the playoffs.
The regular season has but one week remaining, and with the Cyprus Football Association’s decision to dock Anorthosis 9 points, Anorthosis are now on the outside looking in.
The charge against the club is that Uzoho’s medical documents were forged. Uzoho starred in a win over Apollon, who immediately complained to the league. The points penalty knocks Anorthosis down to 25 points, 3 behind 6th placed Omonoia.
Omonoia, the most popular team in Cyprus has had a difficult season. Without the points penalty, Omonoia’s only hope would be a win in their regular season finale, a tough fixture at home to AEL Limassol, and a loss or draw by Nea Salamina who play at home to Alki Oroklini. A forged medical certificate could just be the thing that would save a large club like Omonoia the embarrassment of falling out of Cyprus’s top 6.
Anorthosis for their part, play away to last place Ermis Aradippou, and therefore even if this points penalty stands, they could still finish ahead of Omonoia, if they lose. Anorthosis have vowed to appeal the penalty, to have it rescinded or potentially altered. The decision could be what decides the fates of three clubs.