Chairman, Media Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation Chief Emeka Inyama and Coach of the Super Eagles of Nigeria Stephen Keshi have reacted with shock on a story in a national daily that the CHAN eagles were abandoned by Sports Minister, Mallam Bolaji Abdulahi, NFF Presient, Alhaji Aminu Maigari and the leadership of the nation's governing football body in the run-up to the third place match against Zimbabwe last Saturday in South Africa.
who spoke first said the report was not only a calculated mischief by
the reporter but one designed to downplay the huge impact the Super
Eagles made at its maiden outing at the CHAN African Nations Tourney.
am shocked to read such a report from a respected medium, who should
know better, because the Sports Minister in the company of the NFF
President did not only host the team in Bloemfontein, but also redeemed
his pledge to the team and even when the team did not win against Ghana,
he gave the amount he promised for a win because he was impressed by
the team. Does that translate to abandonment?, Inyama asked
Inyama, who was a one time Editor-in-Chief of the defunct SportsLink and former Abia State Sports
Commissioner said the NFF President, Aminu Maigari has been
with the team nearly all of the tourney and was addressing the team
regularly, which was widely reported in the media adding that it was
shocking that a newspaper will at the end of the championship now report
that the team was abandoned by very responsible public office holders.
“We hope this rather tragic report is withdrawn by those concerned in
the interest of sports growth”, he declared.
Keshi, who spoke through team’s Media Officer, Ben Alaiya,
said he does not understand what is meant by the word abandoned, because
the Sports Minister, NFF President and several top members of the
sports fraternity were with the team throughout the duration of the
“We may not have seen much of the Supporters Club in the
third place but the Minster and NFF were always with the team throughout
He added that
the Minister and the NFF President even addressed the team in a widely
publicized event, wondering what the team needs to reach its goals in
crucial encounters in major competitions. “I was shocked when I read the
story and I think we should always respect those in authority without
blackmail”, he said.
Source: KAYODE TIJANI