The 49 year-old Imo state indigene took the players home on several occasions and raped them. He was divorced in March 2016. His ex wife lives with his 3 year-old daughter in Imo state.
Confessing, he said: “It was in February 2015 that the rape started. I usually had sex with my boys just to play with them. It was romance. We had fun together. The last one I did was in July 2016, knowing that it could get me into trouble.
“I slept with only three of my footballers. There was one of my boys that had not been coming for training since last week. When I asked after him, I was told that he was sick. I did not know that he had reported to his mother and she had told the police.
“I do not know what moved me to be sleeping with them. I have been coaching for about 12 years. My wife stays in the South-East. She left me in March 2016. The sex with the boys was not for any ritual. I only derived fun from it.
One of the teenager reported him to his mother who then alerted the police, leading to his arrest. The 18-year-old said he was forced to tell his mother when Darlington made it a habit.
“The first time he approached me was after a training session. We were on the football pitch and he said my performance was bad and I should meet him at home for a discussion.
“When I went, he and two boys were at home. His wife did not stay with him. He sent the two boys on an errand and asked me to come into his room. He then instructed me to remove my trousers, and he molested me.
“He did not use any protection. He did not give me any money, but he threatened that I would die if I told anyone. I cannot count how many times he had done this to me. I told my mother when I was tired of his abuse. My mother reported him at the police station.”
Another victim said a large number of footballers at the academy had withdrawn because “he always slept with two or three of us every week.”
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