Super Eagles awash in gifts, land, cash after Africa cup victory

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Feb 14, 2013

A grateful nation long seeking a rallying point for a fresh awakening rose in appreciation Tuesday to shower gifts in cash and kind to the new champions of African football, the Super Eagles of Nigeria.

Even before the splendid winners of the AFCON final touched down in Nigeria's capital Abuja from Johanesburg where the team pipped Burkina Faso 1-0, they were already basking in the glow of a million United States dollar cash splash from the chairman and owner of one of Africa's rising telecommunication companies Mike Adenuga.

Adenuga, a Nigerian chief with varied interest in banking, oil and gas as well his cherished telecom outfit, Globacom also took the challenge of supporting and sponsoring the preparation of the Super Eagles for the Confederations Cup billed for Brazil in June.

Range sport for Keshi

Like most Nigerians, ever so passionate about football, Adenuga was not only lavish in praise for the stunning feat of a team not in reckoning at the outset but also generous in giving the Eagles coach Stephen Okechukwu a car which he doubled on delivery Tuesday night -a Range Rover Sports Car and a Camry Toyota sedan.

Interestingly Keshi who later resigned on a radio programme in Johannesburg few hours after this first-ever meeting with Adenuga and had cause to hail the tycoon as the new pillar of support for the team was to later reconsider his position of displeasure over some issues with the football federation and withdrew his resignation the night before their arrival in Nigeria.

With the brouhaha over Keshi's short-lived resignation settled it was time for the drums to roll and it was appropriate for Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan to open the gate of rewards for the team missing the selected right full back of the tournament Ambrose Efe who joined his Celtic of Glasgow teammates in a UEFA Champions League game they lost 3-0 to visiting Juventus of Turin.

But Efe who had a stellar showing against the impressive Stallions of Burkina Faso will share in the presidential largesse of a plot of land in Abuja for each member of team.

2.7m for each Super Eagles Star 

For becoming African champion Efe like his national teammates will take home about Ksh. 2.7 million (USD31,000US) as well as enjoying entry into the honours club as a Member of the Order Of Niger (MON).

In this club Keshi was honored with the Commander of the Order of Niger (CON) and he went home with the highest cash gift of $63 000) as well as an additional 200 000 personal donation by the same chief Adenuga who hosted the entire team after their visit to the seat of government.

The honours list also included keshi's assistants Sylvanus Okpalla, Daniel Amokachi -both winners of the Nations Cup in 1980 and 1994 respectively- ike Shoroumou all of whom were decorated with the Officer of the Federal Republic (OFR).

For the team which will start a nationwide appreciation tour with Delta state on Valentine day the cash rain and rewards will hit a crescendo when corporate Nigeria join in the flow of showing their joy for the return of smiling faces on the streets after a year choked with calamities ranging from bombings and unprecedented floods.

87m from Africa's richest man 

Fittingly Africa's richest man of Forbes list Aliko Danote has signalled the powerful cash spree for the Super Eagles with a donation close to Ksh.87m.

Dangote,a soccer enthusiast was once given the opportunity to lead the Nigeria Football Federation but he declined.

In the days ahead many top tycoons in Nigeria will join the Dangote bandwagon and show the appreciation to a team poised to confront Kenya’s Harambee Stars in a World Cup qualifying game in March.

Heroes welcome for Burkinabes 

While president Goodluck of Nigeria was in jubilant spirits welcoming the Eagles his Burkina Faso counterpart did not let the big moment slip away without rolling the red carpet for the gallant finalists who topped the group that had erstwhile champion Zambia and the new kings of the continent Nigeria.

The crowd that came to welcome the Stallions on their arrival in Ouagadougou the capital could compete with the attendance at the 90000 capacity National Stadium in Johannesburg last Sunday when the 40th minute strike of Eagle Sunday Mba halted the Cinderella run of Burkina Faso who were playing in their first-ever AFCON final.