The Super Eagles have received another boost in their target of reaching this year’s Africa Cup of Nations final, as two Nigerian millionaires, Aliko Dangote and Femi Otedola have both promised to lavish dollars on the payers for each goal they score in this weekend’s semi-final.
In the wake of the Eagles’ stimulating 2-1 win against South Africa in the quarter-final on Wednesday, Dangote has promised to give the team a largess of $50,000 for each goal they get to score in their last two games at the championship, while Otedola pledged the sum of $25,000.
The team have lived up to Nigeria’s eternal billing as confirmed semi-finalists in AFCON history, which means they could chase a fourth title, settle for a fourth silver or manage a seventh record extending third place finish, depending on results from their next two matches.
However, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) president, Melvin Amaju Pinnick said Thursday during a visit to the squad in Cairo, Egypt that they have everything to play for, as more of the country’s business moguls are ready to join the rain of dollars on the squad.
It would be recalled that, following their round of 16 defeat of Cameroon in Alexandria on Saturday, another Nigerian businessman, Captain Hosea Wells Okunbo pledged $20,000 for each player, while Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State came good with $5,000 as well.
AITEO Oil weighed in with the sum of $75,000, being $25,000 for each of the three goals scored by the team against the Indomitable Lions, such that Pinnick was beaming with smiles, as he spoke to the Eagles at Le Meridien Cairo Airport hotel on Thursday morning.
He urged the players to even redouble their efforts in order to cross the semi final stage on Sunday, and then put a call through to Dangote and Otedola, while them to commit more in supporting the team.
Dangote, who holds Nigeria’s second highest national honour (GCON), is ranked as the richest person of African descent in the world, with many interests in various commodities in Nigeria and other African countries.
Otedola has recently been involved in a number of commendable interventions for ailing former Nigerian international players, including 1980 AFCON winning team captain, ‘Chiarman’ Christian Chukwuemeka Chukwu and legendary goalkeeper, Peter Fregene.
Pinnick also quoted President Muhammadu Buhari adding after the Eagles’ latest victory: “The team and their handlers (have) to be focused, disciplined and scale the remaining two hurdles to glory.”