Governor Babatunde Fashola has declared a reward of N59 million for the Super Eagles and members of the supporters’ club for winning the African Cup of Nations in South Africa, saying the determination of the team is worth commending and that the team coach should be respected to enable him continue to perform his duties.
The N59 million naira reward would be shared as follows: N2.5 million for the Chief Coach, Stephen Keshi, his immediate assistant, Daniel Amokachi; N2 million, while the 4 other assistants were rewarded with N1.5 million each.
The captain of the team, Joseph Yobo got N1.5 million while other 22 players got N1 million each for their effort in the tournament. And the team got N500, 000 for each of the goals scored in the competition. The backroom staff were rewarded with N15 million just as the Nigerian Football Supporters Club were rewarded with N4.5 million.
He added that the victory of the Super Eagles calls for soul-searching in light of how the game has become poorly developed in the country.
“I have watched the lack of development in our football in pain and personal agony. So today is a day for soul searching among all footballers. This is a day we must talk to ourselves honestly; there is a victory, yes. But the question to ask is what next. We have Kenya in a few days”, he said.
He advised the team not to get carried away in the euphoria of their victory as African champions, saying that now is the time to start preparing for the Confederations Cup in June and the World Cup next year, both holding in Brazil, and even for their title defense which is still two years away.
“Let us remind ourselves that the defending champion of the cup failed to make it past the first round. Now, the Confederation Cup will be coming up in few months’ time, it is an opportunity for the team to improve its ranking before the World Cup. And the advantage of this is that it will give the team the opportunity to be seeded and avoid strong opposition. Really, the work isn’t done yet. It is a building block from process to process,” he said.
On the pressure put on Keshi by the Nigerian Football Federation, Fashola said there was need for Nigerians to be moderate in their expectations from the team and those who have been employed to do the job respected and supported.
“It is time for everyone to support Keshi or whoever is appointed as the chief coach of the team always. All the criticism against the team must stop and allow all the experts employed to do their job.
“If we think that those we have employed cannot do the job, let’s set time line or change them. And I think that the practice where officials dash into the dressing room at half time while the coach is speaking with the players should stop. That is the team coach domain. The 15 minutes he has with his team must be judiciously used. And I think the NFF should stop this”, he said, as he thanked Guinness Nigeria PLC and the Rivers and Cross River states government for their support to the team.