Just a day after reaching the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) semi-finals with a 2-1 win over South Africa, Nigeria’s Super Eagles received pledges of more dollar rain from two of Africa’s richest businessmen, Aliko Dangote and Femi Otedola.
On a visit to the team’s Le Meridien Cairo Airport hotel on Thursday morning, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President, Amaju Pinnick, put a call through to the billionaires and tasked them to commit to supporting the team.
Africa’s richest businessman, @AlikoDangote promises the @NGSuperEagles $50k for every goal they score in the #AFCON2019 semi-final. @realFemiOtedola will pay $25k per goal. Hear @thenff President @PinnickAmaju, speaking at @MeridienCairo on Thursday. pic.twitter.com/hc0W2rv4P5
— Osasu Obayiuwana (@osasuo) July 11, 2019
Dangote on his part made a pledge of $50,000 (N18 million) to the team for every goal in their remaining two matches at the competition in Egypt while Otedola pledged the sum of $25,000 (N9 million) for every goal scored in that same period.
These lucrative pledges come not long after Otedola’s recent involvement in a number of commendable interventions for ailing former Nigerian international players, including 1980 AFCON winning team –captain Christian Chukwuemeka Chukwu and goalkeeper Peter Fregene.
They also come on the heels of Nigeria’s President Muhammamdu Buhari commending the team after the quarter-final win over South Africa, going on to urge that “the team and their handlers to be focused, disciplined and scale the remaining two hurdles to glory.”
Also on Thursday morning, the management of the Le Meridien Cairo Airport hotel presented a big cake to the Super Eagles for the 2-1 win over South Africa on Wednesday that has taken Nigeria into the last four of the competition.
The hotel manager, Atef Wilson, on behalf of the management presented the cake to head coach Gernot Rohr and China-based forward Odion Ighalo, who received on behalf of the team.
Speaking on the challenge awaiting the team now, Rohr stated the team must forget its win over South Africa and focus on the semi-final clash against the winner of the quarter-final showdown between Algeria and Ivory Coast.
“The next match in a championship is always the toughest, so it is always important to approach it that way,” the Super Eagles boss said.
— CAF (@CAF_Online) July 10, 2019
He added: “That is why we must now forget what we achieved against South Africa in our quarter final match and start to build up towards the semi final.”
Recall that the Super Eagles players were also splashed with money gifts from Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who gave each player $5,000 (N1.8 million) after the thrilling round of 16 win over Cameroon.
Each Super Eagles player also received a pledge of $20,000 (N7.2 million) from Nigerian businessman, Captain Hosea Wells Okunbo, after the win over the Indomitable Lions.
Do you feel these pledges would be enough boost to the Super Eagles players’ motivation to lift the AFCON 2019 title? Tell us what you think about it in the comment section.