By Tony Ubani
ABIA State Governor, T.Â Â A. Orji, was blunt yesterday when he visited Enyimba International of Aba before their departure to Lagos to keep a date with their Federation Cup final against Sharks FC of Port Harcourt on Sunday at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos.
â€œI want the Federation Cup. And I know that you can bring it to Godâ€™s Own State,â€ he said. The players yelled in agreement before the Governor shocked them more.
â€œNow that you have agreed to bring the FA Cup to Umuahia, I announce a N500,000 winning bonus to each playerâ€.Â Applause followed as the players and officials clapped for the Governor. He did not stop at that. The Governor also ordered that luxury buses that ply from Umuahia and Aba be chartered to convey all the numerous fans of the Club from the state to Lagos to cheer them to victory. At this juncture, the supporters nearly brought the roof down with their trumpets.
Enyimba Chairman, Felix Anyansi-Agwu, who captured the mood for Sports Vanguard said that he had never seen such a charged atmosphere before. â€œThe Governor gingered the players and this is the type of motivation that can make the players go the extra mile.
I was happy and I tell you that we are coming to Lagos in thousands to take it back to our Governorâ€, Anyansi-Agwu bubbled with enthusiasm as he spoke to Sports Vanguard.
â€œIt is not going to be easy. Sharks are our neighbours and they are a tough nut to crackâ€, the Enyimba boss who won the Champions League trophy for the Elephants in 2003 and 2004 said. Enyimba finished third in the Globacom premier
League and have secured a Confederations Cup ticket for their efforts. And the reward for winning the FA Cup on Sunday would be another ticket for the Confed Cup. And should Enyimba win, Sharks automatically qualify. Interestingly, Ifeanyi Onyedika who now tinkers Enyimba won the FA Cup with Dolphins of Port Harcourt and Kadiri Ikhana who won the Champions League with Enyimba is now in charge of Sharks.
The Port Harcourt outfit finished 9th on the league table.