Nigeria’s Super Eagles have applauded Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State for his incentive of $25,000 for every goal they score in Saturday’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying clash against South Africa, declaring that the incentive will boost the morale of the team to put in an exceptional performance.
The Governor who visited the team at its evening training session on Tuesday, accompanied by the President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Melvin Pinnick, Okowa pledged the sum of $25,000 for every goal scored by the three-time African champions in the pivotal tie.
The Eagles who lost their first-ever competitive match against the Bafana Bafana on Matchday 1 of the series in Uyo last, coupled with the pressure of qualifying for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations with a match to spare, will definitely be rejuvenated by Okowa’s cash pledge at a time like this.
Governor Okowa said: “I am pleased to have the Super Eagles here in Asaba. We hope you make Asaba your home, and as a people we will begin to follow your progress even more closely. We appreciate the giant strides Nigerian Football is making and commend the leadership of the NFF for making Delta State part of its success story.
“For every goal scored by the Super Eagles in Johannesburg on Saturday, we pledge a reward of $25,000. Please don’t put a limit to the number of goals you score on Saturday; try and score as many as possible.”
The substitute Captain of the Eagles, Ahmed Musa responded: “We thank His Excellency, Governor Okowa, so much for the motivation to us to do well in Johannesburg on Saturday. We promise that we will return here on Sunday with victory. We will also do all we can to give the people of Asaba and the generality of Delta State and Nigerians a very good game against Uganda next Tuesday.”
NFF President Amaju Pinnick said: “We appreciate Governor Okowa for the tremendous support given to the Super Eagles and by extension, the Nigeria Football Federation. The bill for next Tuesday’s international friendly against Uganda has been underwritten completely by the Delta State Government. As my Governor and father said, this State will begin to play a more prominent role in the programmes of the NFF and the Super Eagles. I want to commend the Super Eagles Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr for assembling a young, professional and very efficient team for now and the future. We will continue to do all we can to make sure they do Nigeria proud.”
Coach Gernot Rohr, making his own input, said: “I thank the Delta State Government for their hospitality and for making us feel so comfortable. I am so happy because the pitch is in a much better state than the last time I was here. The Super Eagles will continue to work hard to make all those who have played one role or the other in its progress happy that their investment in the team is not a waste.”
The Nigeria delegation to Saturday’s big match will depart the country aboard a chartered flight from the Benin City Airport on Thursday evening. The Eagles are expected to have a feel of the picturesque FNB Stadium on Friday afternoon by 3.30pm.