The Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, has spoken of the football encounter between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Tiafa Football Team of Tanzania as a display of rugged talents with excellent impression on the soccer loving youths of the state and those seeking a career in football.
Governor Emmanuel stated this during a Special Banquet held in honour of the players and officials of the two teams at Governor’s Lodge, Uyo.
The Governor, who watched the live match at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium a.k.a The Nest of Champions, said “The encounter afforded the teams opportunity to showcase their skills” and expressed appreciation to the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) for the choice of the state for the match.
He advised the players to plan early for their exit so as to enable them sustain their economic standard during retirement and charging them to strive to win the Golden Boot or emerge the best footballer of the year in Africa.
He said such feat would attract a fantastic prize and that the state would gladly host the team in appreciation of such feat.
Gov Emmanuel congratulated the Super Eagles for their determination to fly the Nigerian flag in the world of soccer and their victory in the match, saying that it was a no-mean encounter to score the lone goal by the striker Kelechi Iheanacho.
In his acknowledgement, he said “With determination, no task is insomountable”, and presented a package to both teams to boost their morale, urging the leadership of NFF to host more of such games in the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium to psyche up Akwa Ibom youths and justify the establshment of Sports Academy in the ten Federal Constituencies to groom talents in both field and track events.
The Presidnt of NFF, Mr Amadju Pinnick, said that the team has been rebranded to win laurels for the country and announced plans to host the FIFA Exco in Nigeria, groom feeder stars from under ten using FIFA standard, adding that arrangement has been made for the team to travel to Dubai for training by next month.
The Super Eagles Captain, Mikel Obi, Leader, Tiafa of Tanzania delegation, Alhaji Ahmed Goyi and the Chairman, Sportswriters Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Honour Sirawo, in their speeches expressed gratitude to Akwa Ibom State Government and entire people of the state for the hospitality shown them.