They might have retired from active football but by no means were the former Nigeria internationals shorn of skills when they played against a team of entertainers and artistes at the Campos Mini Stadium, Lagos, to mark this year’s World AIDS Day.
Nwankwo Kanu, Austin Okocha, Daniel Amokachi, Jonathan Akpoborie, Celestine Babayaro, Mobi Oparaku amongst many other famous ex-Super Eagles lined up against a team of Nollywood and music stars that included rappers MI, Dr Sid and Sound Sultan, actors Afeez Oyetoro a.k.a Saka, Nonso Diobi, Segun Arinze, Fred Amata, director John Njamah, Yemi Blaq, ID Cabasa amongst a few others.
Even though it was a light-hearted affair watched by former Nigeria Head of State General Yakubu Gowon (rtd) in front of a cheerful audience, the former internationals triumphed 8-3. Former Eagles captain and Bolton legend Okocha scored a hat trick.
Friends of Africa communications officer Irabor Okosun said of the event: “The aim of the initiative was to tap into the natural convening power of football to create a viable platform for the delivery of health advocacy campaigns and amplifying the voice for this year’s global AIDS Day theme: ‘Getting to Zero’.
“Meaning – Zero stigmatization of people living with HIV/AIDS, zero infections, zero discrimination and zero transmission through educating and empowering youths with information to help prevent the spread of this deadly disease.”
A mobile voluntary counselling and test (VCT) unit was placed at the venue to assist people in knowing their status while the organisers also gave out free t-shirts, pens and condoms.
Former Nigeria internationals
Team of entertainers
Celebrity participants with former Head of State General Yakubu Gowon (rtd)
Warming up: Kanu, Amokachi and Okocha
Celestine Babayaro and Jay Jay Okocha
Actors Nonso Diobi and Afeez Oyetoro a.k.a Saka
Jay Jay gets booked
Nonso Diobi and John Njamah