Dangote, Otedola rain more dollars on Super Eagles
The givers have continued to swell Super Eagles players’ purse in appreciation of their sterling performance at the on-going African Cup of Nations in Egypt. Yesterday, the team, which defeated South Africa 2-1 to qualify for the semifinal of the competition, got pledges of dollar rewards from two of Africa’s richest men, Aliko Dangote and Femi Otedola.
The news came to the players first hand when Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President, Amaju Pinnick visited their
Le Meridien Cairo Airport Hotel to assure them that Nigeria was behind them in their quest to bring honours to the country.
According to thenff.com, at the camp, “Pinnick put a call through to the two well -known philanthropists and tasked them to commit to supporting the team.
“While Dangote made a pledge of $50,000 to the team for every goal in their remaining two matches at the championship, Otedola pledged the sum of $25,000 for every goal.” That means the players will share $75,000 for each goal they score in their two remaining games.
The Guardian recalls that the players got more than $37,500 each for beating Cameroun in the second round game on Saturday through businessman, Captain Hosea Wells Okunbo, who pledged the sum of $20,000 for every player, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s $5,000 for each player and the $75,000 they shared for the three goals they scored against the Indomitable Lions.
Meanwhile, Super Eagles’ Coach, Gernot Rohr has described as a nightmare the time it took Moroccan referee, Redouane Jiyed to decide whether to allow the equaliser for South Africa against Nigeria during their quarterfinal game on Wednesday.
The South Africans had levelled scores in the 71st minute through Bongani Zungu but the referee initially overruled the goal, before communication with the Referee Video Assistance (VAR) changed the dynamics of the game, as it was finally ruled as a goal. However, Nigeria managed a late winner through William Troost-Ekong.
The Franco/German tactician was upset that the time it took to arrive at the decision that a goal had been scored did more damage to his team than the momentary setback his side suffered before the 2-1 win was assured.
“The five minutes wait was on the high side. It could lead to unexpected fracas in a volatile match but it was good that it was a game between two friendly nations else in the stand and fans could disrupt a match.“For five minutes we had to wait, goal or no goal, and that was hard for my team and we were lucky that my players were able to keep their cool and control the match till we scored the decider,” he said.
Rohr commended his players for staying back to get the job done just like it was in the second round clash against Cameroun when the team conceded an equaliser and three minutes later saw the defending champions in front going into interval.
“We learnt our lesson in the last match and after conceding the equaliser in a controversial manner, we had to stay strong and take the match back to the South Africans; we are happy to have gotten the job done.“Now, we are mentally strong and we were able to come back,” he said. “The attitude of my players was wonderful, such a good relationship with everyone.”
The coach recalled when Nigeria were beaten 2-0 by South Africa at home in a qualifier for the tournament two years ago, one of his first games in charge.“We had a young team but this team continued to work and this result perhaps helped us to beat Cameroun, who were African champions, 4-0, in the next game in the same stadium (in a World Cup qualifier), so we could learn from this match,” he added.