• Thursday, February 29, 2024
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BusinessDay

Super Eagles get dollar boast ahead of semi final clash

Sper Eagles

Following a superb performance against the Bafana Bafana of South Africa (conquerors of seven –time champions and host nation Egypt) that saw Nigeria reach the semi finals of the Africa Cup Of Nations (AFCON 2019), the Super Eagles have received pledges of more dollar rain from two of Africa’s richest businessmen.

During his visit to Super Eagles’ Le Meridien Cairo Airport hotel on Thursday morning, Amaju Melvin Pinnick, President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) put a call through to the two well -known philanthropists Aliko Dangote and Femi Otedola, where he tasked them to commit to supporting the team ahead of their semi final game on Sunday.

While Dangote made a pledge of $50,000 to the team for every goal in their remaining two matches at the championship, Otedola pledged the sum of $25,000 for every goal.A

Dangote, who holds Nigeria’s second highest national honour (GCON) is the President of Dangote Group and is ranked as the richest person of African descent in the world. The Dangote Group has interests in various commodities in Nigeria and other African countries.

Oil baron Femi Otedola has recently been involved in a number of commendable interventions for ailing former Nigerian international players, including 1980 AFCON winning team –captain Christian Chukwuemeka Chukwu and goalkeeper Peter Fregene.

Further words of encouragement came from His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) following Wednesday night’s victory, with the President urging “the team and their handlers to be focused, disciplined and scale the remaining two hurdles to glory.”

It would be recalled that following their Round of 16 defeat of Cup holders Cameroon in Alexandria on Saturday, businessman Captain Hosea Wells Okunbo pledged the sum of $20,000 for every player, while Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu came good with $5,000 for every player.

NFF’s Official Optimum Partner AITEO also weighed in with the sum of $75,000, being $25,000 for each of the three goals scored by the team against the Indomitable Lions.

Also, even before knowing the identity of their AFCON 2019 semi final opponent, Super Eagles’ technical adviser Gernot Rohr has charged his wards to be focused and fully committed to the task at hand as they countenance another tough session on Sunday night at the Cairo International Stadium.

“The next match in a championship is always the toughest, so it is always important to approach it that way. That is why we must now forget what we achieved against South Africa in our quarter final match and start to build up towards the semi final.

“There is no time to rest on our oars. We must make all the sacrifices we can now to achieve our objectives at this tournament. We must stay focused and be fully committed.”

The three –time champions were back at the Aerosport pitch inside the Cairo Airport on Thursday morning to begin training for Sunday’s encounter, which would be against the winner of the Algeria/Cote d’Ivoire fixture.

Victory over South Africa took Franco –German Gernot Rohr’s record with Nigeria to 20 wins in 34 matches, of which he has drawn five and lost nine.

 

Anthony Nlebem