As a motivation for the under 23 Olympic Eagles Team to make Nigeria proud by defeating Tanzania, Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, has announced the cash gift N10 million to the Nigerian team ahead of Saturday game.
Makinde, who promised to be at the Lekan Salami Stadium on Saturday to cheer the players up, also promised additional 20,000 dollars (about N18 million) after victory.
He made the announcement of the cash gift on Friday night at a dinner hosted by the State Government for the team inside the Government House in Ibadan.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the second leg of the AFCON Qualifier would be played at Lekan Salami Sports Complex in Ibadan on Saturday.
The country’s U23 National Team and Tanzania had drew 1-1 during the first leg of the match held in Dar es Salam, the capital of Tanzania.
It was the first time since 1999 that football lovers in the ancient city of Ibadan would enjoy the best of international football.
The governor described sport as a means of development in the state, saying they knew what it meant for youths in terms of money, motivation and development of the state.
“At any time, we would be willing to host NFF. I enjoy watching football and Shooting Star is the first team from this country to win the continental African Cup.
“I want to wish you well and let you know that we are fully behind you. I am supporting you with N10 million right now and using my own ways of motivating you”.
“You will win the match and I will keep my promise to you as well. The game promises to be exciting, so let’s show them what we’re made of,” he said.
Also, the Chairman, National Youth Teams, Alhaji Aminu Balele, urged the team to win the game for President Muhammadu Buhari, the Minister of Sports and Nigeria.
Balele had also doled out #10,000 to the Olympic team, while a former Commissioner for Youths and Sports in Ogun State, Mr Bukola Olopade, promised a gift of 5,000 dollars for the team.
He then gave the team Head Coach, Salisu Yusuf, 10,000 dollars to ensure that the team wins the game.
Earlier, the Super Eagles Captain, Ahmed Musa, had pledged to give the team N500,000 on each goal scored against the Tanzanians.
NAN reports that the Dream Team, who are being massively backed by their football loving fans, have vowed to finish off their Tanzanian opponents.
For the Nigerians to progress to the next round, they needed a scoreless draw or an outright victory in today’s game.
However, the task might not be easy for the Dream Team as the Tanzanian Team Manager, Ahmed Maroko, had threatened to create an upset.
“We are here to win and we will do everything possible to accomplish our mission,”the Tanzanian Sweat Merchant said.
With the Tanzanians driven by personal determination, the home team’s spirits are buoyed by promises of cash splash from sports loving compatriots.
With the spirits of the Dream Team lifted up by imminent naira rains, the Nigerians might go for a harvest of goals today. (NAN)