Nigerian Super Eagles players and crew may have hit a major jackpot courtesy of their qualification for the finals of the ongoing 29th Orange African Cup of Nations(AFCON) 2013,holding in South Africa.
This follows the release of N130 million by the President and Chief Executive of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote to the Nigerian national team as the firm’s support to the team for their excellence at the tournament.
The Nigerian national team, the Super Eagles crushed Mail in their sem-finals match on Wednesday,6th of February by a massive 4-1 to move to the next round while Mali fights for a third place with Ghana on Sunday by 7pm Nigerian time.
A statement from Dangote Group explained that the gesture is part of Dangote Group’s corporate social responsibility ( CSR ) to promote and encourage sports development in Nigeria.
The donation is to acknowledge the exploits of the national team at the AFCON and stimulate them to bring home the coveted trophy.
Sports minister Mallam Bolaji Abudllahi speaking on the donation said: “Dangote has always demonstrated commitment to Government and people of Nigeria. We are happy over the gesture shown to the players and the coaching crew. It is an example for other well-meaning Nigerians to follow.”
Football enthusiasts are commending Aliko Dangote on the gesture describing it as a necessary tonic that would inspire the Super Eagles to win the final match on Sunday February 10 against the Stallions of Burkina Faso.
Ephraim Ubong, a football lover and Super Eagles supporter believes that the donation would spur the national team to win the trophy.
Ubong, a staff of a creative agency in Lagos charged other wealthy Nigerians and organizations to emulate Dangote by donating cash and materials to the national team.
The 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, also known as the Orange Africa Cup of Nations for sponsorship reasons, kicked off from January 19 while the finals will be played on February 10, 2013. The competition is organized by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
Starting from this edition, the tournament was switched to being held in odd-numbered years instead of even-numbered years so that it does not clash with the FIFA World Cup.
The winner of the tournament will qualify for the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil as the representative from CAF.