The Nigeria Football Federation on Monday heaped plaudits on Akwa Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio (CON) for redeeming his pledge of N10 million to the U-17 national team, the Golden Eaglets.
NFF President Aminu Maigari said: “We are very appreciative of this gesture by Governor Akpabio. He has always been a man of his words. This also underscores the fact that he is a true sports lover.”
NFF General Secretary, Barrister Musa Amadu said the gesture was a huge boost to the team which departs Nigeria on Wednesday for a crucial continental championship qualifier in Bamako, slated for Sunday.
The Akwa Ibom State number one man made the pledge when he met the team at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja early September, on its way to a 2013 African U-17 Championship qualifying match against Niger in Niamey.
“You mean these boys are the Golden Eaglets of Nigeria? They are so young. Surely, this is the youngest set of Golden Eaglets I have seen in the history of Nigerian football,” Governor Akpabio said at the Abuja airport that day.
Two goals from defender Wilfred Ndidi and midfielder Alhassan Ibrahim steered the Eaglets to a 2-0 victory over the Malians in the first leg in Calabar penultimate weekend. The winner on aggregate will qualify for next year’s African U-17 Championship in Morocco.