Rangers International F.C.

Coordinates: 6°26′39″N 7°29′47″W / 6.44427°N 7.49630°W / 6.44427; -7.49630
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6°26′39″N 7°29′47″W / 6.44427°N 7.49630°W / 6.44427; -7.49630

Rangers International FC
Full nameRangers International Football Club
Nickname(s)Flying Antelopes[1]
Founded1970; 53 years ago (1970)[2]
GroundNnamdi Azikiwe Stadium
Enugu, Enugu State, Nigeria
ChairmanDavidson Owumi
CoachFidelis Ilechukwu[3]
LeagueNigeria Professional Football League
2022–23Nigeria Professional Football League, 8th of 10 In Group B

Rangers International Football Club, commonly known as Enugu Rangers, is a Nigerian professional association football team founded in 1970. Based in Enugu, the Rangers play their home games at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium.[4] Enugu Rangers are one of the three oldest clubs in Nigeria, the other two being Bendel Insurance and Kano Pillars,[5] and the only Nigerian club never to have been relegated from the Nigeria Premier League.[5]


The 1970s[edit]

Enugu Rangers won a nationally organised tournament in 1970 which allowed them to qualify for the 1971 African Cup of Champions Clubs.[6] Rangers lost in the quarterfinal rounds, 0–3 on aggregate to ASEC Mimosas.[7]

In the same year, they almost achieved domestic success in the Nigerian FA Cup cup as well, but lost the final 2–1 to Shooting Stars F.C.[8]

After winning the 1974 double, including a 2–0 cup final win over Mighty Jets, the Enugu players were given promotions at the Nigerian Sports Council and cars.[9][10]

Rangers lost the 1975 African Cup of Champions Clubs to Guinea's Hafia FC, earning left-back Silvanus Okpala the nickname "Hafia" for his poor play in the final.[11] Enugu had overturned a 3–1 defeat in Egypt in the semifinal to qualify for the final. Founding Ranger Ernest Ufele retired after the defeat.[10]

In 1977, the club, now managed by their first-ever captain, Godwin Achebe, [12] faced ASF Police of Dakar in the quarterfinals. Held to a goalless draw at home, Rangers took the lead twenty minutes into the second half of the away leg, silencing the Senegal stadium, and eventually winning the match 2–1. After the game ended, team members were physically assaulted by Senegalese fans, according to Nigerian press reports, and three were stabbed.[13] A military plane was flown to Dakar to evacuate the victors.[12]

The 1977 semi-finals set up one of the greatest ties in Nigerian football history as Enugu were drawn against Shooting Stars.[14] Rangers would go on to defeat Canon Yaounde 5–2 on aggregate in the final, including a 4–1 win on Nigerian soil.

During this time period, Rangers boasted a number of Nigerian national team players such as Christian Chukwu, goalkeeper Emmanuel Okala[15] and Aloysius Atuegbu.[14]

The 1980s[edit]

Led by coach Christian Chukwu, Enugu won the 1983 Nigerian Cup, defeating DIC Bees of Kaduna 5–4 on penalties after a 0–0 draw.[16][17][9]

Rangers won their sixth title in 1984 with a number of players who had led Nigeria to the 1980 African Cup of Nations.[18][19] Louis Igwilo captained the team.[20]

The 1990s: lean years[edit]

Rangers joined the new fully professional league in 1990 and made cup final that year, losing to Stationery Stores on 5–4 on penalty kicks.[21] They would not make another cup final appearance in the decade, and their best league finish was third in 1998.[22]

The 2000s[edit]

Enugu topped the table after the 2001 home and away season but finished bottom of the four-team championship playoff group.[23]

Enugu Rangers made the group stage of the 2004 CAF Confederation Cup and missed out on winning the group and making the final after losing a head-to-head tiebreaker to Asante Kotoko. Rangers drew 0–0 against Angola's Petro de Luanda and celebrated, thinking they had advanced on goal difference, but the first tiebreaker was head-to-head.[24]

In the 2005 season, Rangers finished as Runners-up in the league, five points off eventual champions Enyimba.[25]

In 2008–09, they played some games in nearby Abakaliki and Nnewi as their stadium was renovated for the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup. Before the season started, Enugu State governor Sullivan Chime paid the backlog of sign-on fees dating to three years ago and all other debts owed the players.

In November 2008, Rangers became the first Nigerian clubside to be a public company and sell ownership stock.[26] However the deal fell through, and the club began the 2009 season in debt.[27] The club is currently owned by the state government.[5]

Enugu did begin a 12-year run of success in a minor trophy, the local state FA Cup, which they won every year from 2005 to 2017.[28]

2016–current: Success again[edit]

After a 2015 season which nearly saw them relegated, Enugu won the 2016 Nigeria Premier League, their first championship since 1982.[29] Closest challengers Rivers United needed Enugu to lose on the final day of the season, but Rangers won their game against El-Kanemi Warriors 4–0 to win the championship.[30][31]

2017 saw Enugu struggle, dropping into the relegation zone halfway through the season.[5] They recovered, finishing 14th and keeping alive their streak of never being relegated from the top flight.

The club went on to won their first Nigerian Cup in 35 years in 2018.[32] Rangers stunned Kano Pillars, coming back from a 3–0 deficit to win the trophy on penalties. Ajani Ibrahim scored on a diving header two minutes into stoppage time to tie the game 3–3.[33] Rangers played in the final five times from 1987 to 2007, never winning once.[5]

In the first championship playoff clash on Wednesday, June 13, 2019, Enugu Rangers defeated FC IfeanyiUbah 4–2 in a six-goal thriller to secure a CAF Confederation Cup ticket.

Many Nigerians remember with fondness watching Enugu Rangers play in the 1970s and 1980s.[34]


Enyimba and Rangers compete in the "Oriental derby."[35]


Performance in CAF competitions[edit]

The club had 7 appearances in African Cup of Champions Clubs from 1971 to 1985 and 3 appearances in CAF Champions League from 2006 to 2017.

2004 – Group stage
2005 – Intermediate Round
2013 – Intermediate Round
2017 – Playoff Round
2018–19 – Group stage
2019–20 – Group stage
1996 – Second Round
2003 – Semi-finals
1977 – Champion
1984 – Quarter-finals

Current first team squad[edit]

As of 26 November 2021 Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK Ghana GHA Mutawakilu Seidu
2 GK Nigeria NGA Japhet Opubo
3 DF Nigeria NGA Ifeanyi Okoro
4 DF Nigeria NGA David Raki
5 DF Senegal SEN Pape Sané
7 MF Nigeria NGA Ifeanyi Nweke
8 MF Nigeria NGA Kelvin Itoya
9 FW Nigeria NGA Christian Nnaji
10 MF Italy ITA Ugochukwu Ugwuoke
12 DF Nigeria NGA Osas Okoro
13 MF Benin BEN Isaac Louté
14 FW Nigeria NGA Felix Ogbuke
16 GK Nigeria NGA Olufemi Thomas
18 FW Nigeria NGA Chinonso Eziekwe
19 MF Nigeria NGA Dauda Madaki
No. Pos. Nation Player
20 DF Nigeria NGA Temitope Olusesi
21 MF Nigeria NGA Christian Madu
22 MF Nigeria NGA Shedrack Asiegbu
24 DF Nigeria NGA Ernest Governor
25 GK Ghana GHA Nana Bonsu
27 FW Nigeria NGA Israel Abia
28 MF Nigeria NGA Archibong Eso
29 FW Nigeria NGA Kenechukwu Agu
31 MF Nigeria NGA Chidiebere Nwobodo
33 MF Nigeria NGA Ebuka Franklin Anthony
34 FW Nigeria NGA Timothy Simon
35 MF Nigeria NGA Charles Tiesso
36 MF Nigeria NGA Daniel Vandagar



general manager

Team Manager

Head Coach

Chief Coach


Assistant Coach I

Assistant Coach II

Trainer I

  • []

Trainer II

  • ]

Trainer III

  • []

Trainer IV

  • []

GoalKeeper Trainer I

  • [Victor Okoh]

GoalKeeper Trainer II

  • []

Media Officer

  • [Norbert Okolie]

Former head coaches[edit]

Notable players[edit]


  1. ^ "Nigeria: This Rangers Team Will Be Like 70s Squad – Okala". allafrica.com. 30 September 2004.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". nm.onlinenigeria.com. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 14 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Rangers unveil 'Working One' Ilechukwu". thenationonlineng.net. 6 July 2023.
  4. ^ "Nigeria – Enugu Rangers International FC – Results, fixtures, squad, statistics, photos, videos and news – Soccerway". Soccerway.com. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Enugu Rangers: The journey to ignominy". Espn.com. 26 July 2017. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  6. ^ Schöggl, Hans. "Nigeria 1970–79".
  7. ^ "L'Historique du Parcours de l'ASEC". ASEC Mimosas.
  8. ^ "Aiteo Cup Final: 7 Memorable 1970s, 1980s, 1990s Cup Finals". 24 October 2017.
  9. ^ a b "Chukwu: Rangers Have Brought Glory To Entire South Eastern Nigeria – Complete Sports Nigeria". Completesportsnigeria.com. 28 September 2016. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  10. ^ a b "In life, in death; two Rangers legends remain inseparable". Vanguardgr.com. 3 October 2014.
  11. ^ Ekwowusi, Sonnie (5 October 2016). "The Return of Enugu Rangers". Retrieved 27 October 2018.
  12. ^ a b "Rangers Int'l Football Club(4): First international trophy – Vanguard News Nigeria". Vanguardngr.com. 14 July 2017. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  13. ^ "The return of Rangers International FC – The Sun Nigeria". Sunnewsonline.com. 21 September 2016. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  14. ^ a b "Igbo vs Yoruba: The Clash Of The Brothers 1977, By Remigius Akinbinu [MUST READ]". Uncova.com. 4 January 2017. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  15. ^ [1][dead link]
  16. ^ "Nigeria 1983".
  17. ^ "Enugu Rangers Rewrite History in Unprecedented Fashion – Busy Buddies". Busybuddiesng.com. 25 October 2018. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  18. ^ "Nigeria 1984". RSSSF.
  19. ^ "NPFL Triumph-What next for Enugu Rangers". Goal.com.
  20. ^ "Rangers' victory answers Sayama's question 36 years on". Vanguard Nigeria. 21 October 2016.
  21. ^ "Nigeria – List of Cup Winners". RSSSF. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  22. ^ "Nigeria 1998". RSSSF. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  23. ^ "Nigeria 2001". RSSSF. Retrieved 27 October 2018.
  24. ^ "CAF Dismiss Enugu Rangers' Protest". 30 November 2001. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  25. ^ "Summary - NPFL - Nigeria - Results, fixtures, tables and news - Soccerway". ng.soccerway.com. Retrieved 2022-12-14.
  26. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-12-18. Retrieved 2008-11-09.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  27. ^ [2][dead link]
  28. ^ "Crime Busters win state FA cup, break Enugu Rangers 12-year dominance – the Eagle Online". Archived from the original on 2018-10-27. Retrieved 2018-10-27.
  29. ^ "Enugu Rangers win Nigeria Professional Football League title as Rivers United and Wikki Tourists slip up - Goal.com". Goal.com. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  30. ^ "NPFL: Rivers Utd will fight till end, says Captain". Pulse.ng. 28 September 2016. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  31. ^ "Enugu Rangers Win First Football League Title in 32 Years • Channels Television". Channelstv.com. 2 October 2016. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  32. ^ "Enugu Rangers Win First Nigerian Cup Since 1983".
  33. ^ Akpodonor, Gowon (25 October 2018). "Rangers rise from 0–3 down to beat Kano Pillars". Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  34. ^ Afolabi, Kamil; admin (2020-04-30). "The Lunch Hour - Kanayo Awani, Managing Director, Intra-African Trade Initiative at Afreximbank". Arbiterz. Retrieved 2022-12-14.
  35. ^ "NPFL: Rangers, Enyimba Clash In Oriental Derby; MFM Host Heartland – Complete Sports Nigeria". Completesportnigeria.com. 10 March 2018. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  36. ^ Dada, Gbolahan (6 February 2017). "My experience'll count for Rangers – Chukwu". thepointng.com. Retrieved 13 April 2018.

External links[edit]