Cross River State Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke again displayed his love for the Nigerian national team at the weekend when hours to the World Cup qualifier against Malawi, he ordered his Sports Commissioner, Hon Patrick Ugbe to release the Nations Cup largesse he promised the players last February.
That was to be the tonic the team needed for the tie as players and officials were promptly paid the money the evening before the encounter.
Team stand in skipper, Vincent Enyeama described the gesture as unprecedented and a motivation that gingered the players to go all out for a win against the mouthy Flames of Malawi. Team Secretary, Dayo Enebi Achor, said when he was paying the players he could see the glitter of determination in their eyes and he was sure that the Malawian will fall even before the referee sounded his whistle for the start of the game.
On his part, Head Coach Stephen Keshi, said he was grateful to the governor for always supporting the team at crucial moments and thanked the NFF for bringing the Eagles to Calabar for their qualifiers. “On our part we will always like to play games here in Canaan City because of the wonderful reception from the people and the unflinching support of the Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke.
In a similar vein, Team Skipper Joseph Yobo, called from Turkey immediately after the match to congratulate his teammates for the outstanding game against Malawi, declaring that he was praying for the team and was actually with them in spirit.
I am excited that we have qualified for the last round and have also called Ahmed Musa to commiserate with him over what some hoodlums did by kidnapping his mother. I am also using this opportunity to condole my good friend and team Media Officer, Ben Alaiya over the death of his father last Tuesday”, Yobo said on phone.