…We won’t disappoint Nigerians, Rohr, Musa assure

…Rewards Atlanta 96 Gold Medalist, Pascal with a 3-Bedroom flat

By Olasunkanmi Akoni

Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has charged Super Eagles of Nigeria to ensure the defeat of Squirrels of Benin Republic and Crocodiles of Lesotho in the forthcoming remaining crucial 2021 African Cup of Nations qualifying matches.

Sanwo-Olu gave the charge at a dinner with the President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick; Super Eagles Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr, technical crew and players, held at Lagos House, Marina, late Wednesday night.

Sanwo-Olu, however, promised to support the team, urging the technical crew and players to work tirelessly to defeat Benin national team on Saturday at Porto Novo and beat Lesotho during a match to be played at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos on Tuesday.

The governor expressed the commitment of his administration to improving sports activities in Lagos State.

Sanwo-Olu, also announced a gift of a three-bedroom apartment in the 360 units Prince Abiodun Ogunleye Housing Estate in Igbogbo, Ikorodu to the Atlanta 1996 Football Gold Medalist, Patrick Pascal.

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Sanwo-Olu said, “I’m very excited that the senior national team is returning to Lagos to play competitive march after 20 years.

“When it was said that we are going to have the match in Lagos, we did not only jump at it, we saw it as an opportunity to rewrite our history again.

“Lagos used to be home for everything around football and sports in this country. Over 80 footballers came out of Lagos. Henry Nwosu, Samson Siasia, Jonathan Akpoborie, Odion Ighalo and many others were discovered in Lagos.

“We are supporting sporting activities in different parts of Lagos so that we can get younger ones that will be coming behind and after you so that Nigeria can get back her glory; the glory of 1996 when we won the Atlanta Olympic Gold Medal in the football event. It was a glorious time for some of us.

“We have here, Patrick Pascal (Super Eagles team coordinator), who was part of the team that won the gold medal in Atlanta 96. Surprisingly, what we promised him as a nation has not been fulfilled, but Lagos will fulfil that today. Patrick will get a three-bedroom flat in Prince Abiodun Ogunleye Housing Estate, which I commissioned today (Wednesday).

“Sports is a unifier for all of us. Sports is a detribalised means of identification. Sports speaks no language, it speaks no tradition, it speaks no religion. It is something that usually heals our country. Even when things are down when we have security issues and all sorts of negative things in the country, you can use sports and football to heal that wound for us. And it is on that note that I want to charge you, encourage and appeal to you to do everything you can to win the matches.”

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Sanwo-Olu disclosed that his administration would build a stadium in Igbogbo and Agboyi-Ketu parts of Lagos, and support all the local teams in the state with the necessary infrastructure they need to boost sporting activities.

Speaking earlier, Rohr commended Sanwo-Olu for his support for the team and for putting the necessary infrastructure in place at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere for next Tuesday match.

He assured the governor that his team will win the two matches.

Also speaking, the captain of the Super Eagles, Ahmed Musa said the best they can do is to defeat the Benin Republic in Porto Novo on Saturday and also win the match against Lesotho in Lagos on Tuesday.

“You are a man of the people. On behalf of myself and my teammates, we thank you. You are a man that promises and fulfils them. The best we can give you is to win the game. I think the Benin Republic has not lost since 2013 in their home. We will break that by the grace of God and come to Lagos and do our best to win the game against Lesotho,” he said.

Ahmed Musa captain of the team later presented Super Eagles jerseys to Governor Sanwo-Olu and First Lady of Lagos State, Dr. (Mrs) Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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