The Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, has splashed $50,000 (about N180 million) on the Super Eagles for scoring five goals in their World Cup qualifier double header against the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon in Uyo and Yaoundé.
Emmanuel, who redeemed the pledge of $10,000 per goal, charged the three-time African champions to go all out for a win against Zambia on Saturday and expect “a handsome reward” from him.
Governor Emmanuel had promised the players the sum of $10,000 for every goal, two days before their clash with the African champions, whom the Eagles walloped 4-0 in Uyo on September 1, before earning a 1-1 draw in Yaounde three days later.
On Wednesday, the football-loving Governor and great host of the Super Eagles in this qualifying campaign, said there is more where the money came from, if the team earns a sixth FIFA World Cup appearance by winning on Saturday.Emmanuel said: “I know you have the quality to overcome in this important match, but I don’t want you to underrate your opponents. I love the professionalism and dedication to the cause that you have shown since the beginning of this qualifying campaign. Those efforts have put Nigeria at the top of the table.
“I want to commend the NFF, your coaches and the support staff for the great job they have all done in support of your efforts to get to this position. You are just one win away from achieving your goal. The Zambians are taking this game as a do-or-die affair, so we need to be totally focused and play like soldiers.”
Responding on behalf of the team, Captain Mikel John Obi thanked the Governor and pledged to him and indeed Nigerians everywhere that the Super Eagles will not disappoint on Saturday.
Obi said: “We very much appreciate the role Your Excellency, the Government and good people of Akwa Ibom State, the NFF and Nigerians from all walks of life have played to get us to this position in this campaign. We know how much this match means and we will go out there and do the job.”