As the September 1 crucial World Cup qualifying match between the Super Eagles and Indomitable Lions of Cameroun draws closer, Akwa Ibom State Governor Udom Emmanuel says the Eagles deserve the support and motivation of all.
The governor who was speaking when he played host to the NFF President, Amaju Pinnick and his team, said Nigerians should continue to believe in the team despite the result of the last game in Uyo.
Governor Emmanuel said the importance of the Nigeria-Cameroon FIFA World Cup qualifier made him to shelve all official international engagements to ensure that he is on ground to mobilize for the Super Eagles as their number one supporter in Akwa Ibom State.
He thanked the NFF for retaining Uyo as home of the Eagles, noting that such confidence will be justified with support and motivation for the Super Eagles to soar through the huddle and hoist the nation’s flag at next year’s FIFA World Cup finals in Russia. He said this has necessitated his plans of involving chief psychologist in the University of Uyo to assist the team’s psychologists and prepare the players for victory.
His words: “Coming back to Akwa Ibom is always a motivation. Self-confidence is necessary when you are in the battle –front. After the last match, there were a lot of comments. I thank the NFF. They believe in themselves, they believe in the players and they believe in Nigeria. That is what we need at this time.”
The Governor used the opportunity to highlight his administration’s strides in sports development, infrastructure and talent hunt, insisting that it was not in error that the match day coincides with a statewide prayer meeting that defies religious beliefs preparatory to the 30thAnniversary of Akwa Ibom State.
According to him, this spiritual exercise would yield positive result not just for Akwa Ibom State but the Super Eagles.
Pinnick thanked the sports –loving Governor Emmanuel for his significant role in football development in the country, as shown in his government being ever –ready to hosting the Senior National Team in Uyo. He re-affirmed that Uyo will remain the home of the Super Eagles because of the extra-ordinary support from the fans in the state. “On the 9th of October, Nigeria will be also be playing Zambia here in Akwa Ibom.”
He announced an invitation to Governor Emmanuel to lead the Nigeria delegation to Algeria for the last match in the qualifying series in November, and congratulated Governor Emmanuel for the support afforded NPFL team Akwa United FC, saying this resulted in the team’s emergence as champions of the old-style Federation Cup (now Aiteo Cup) two years ago, while the team is currently contending for the Nigeria Professional Football League title.