Rivers State governor Nyesom Wike has fulfilled his pledge of $60,000 to the Nigeria men’s U-23 team after their narrow home win over Congo on Sunday.
The Dream Team VI will take a narrow 2-1 advantage to Congo in a fortnight, looking to complete the tussle for one of seven qualification tickets to the 2015 Africa U-23 Championship slated for Senegal.
The coach Samson Siasia-led side were nonetheless delighted to have won the heart of the governor, who had promised $30,000 for a goal and $100,000 for a 3-0 win.
Wike addressed players and officials of the team at a reception on Monday and handed over the sum of $60,000, expressing joy that the Dream Team VI played one of the best football he has seen in years.
He said: “You guys made Nigerians proud with the way you played against the Congolese; you showed that the future of Nigeria football is bright and that the NFF is on the right path in putting the country’s football on the world map.
“All I can tell you guys is that if the Congolese can score a goal here, you can do more than that in Congo in the return leg. I am proud of you and so is the generality of Nigerians.”
The governor also appealed to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to bring more matches to the magnificent Adokiye Amiesiamaka stadium. He also disclosed that he would be extending the Nigeria U-23 team’s stay in Port-Harcourt by another week, so as to ensure they enjoy they get necessary support and prepare without distractions.
NFF’s 1st Vice President, Barr. Seyi Akinwunmi, who spoke earlier on behalf of the leadership of the Federation thanked Governor Wike for the massive support he gave the team, including mobilizing over 40,000 spectators to cheer the team to victory at the stadium.
He expressed delight that the Dream Team VI won the first competitive game played at the new stadium, which is a sign of good things to come.