The Standard Gazette
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Jonathan Tasks Eagles Against Cote d’ Ivoire

by Our Reporter

PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has again reiterated his desire to be in South Africa for the final match of the 29th Africa Cup of Nations, provided that the Super Eagles make it that far.

This message was passed to the Super Eagles on Friday by the Honourable Minister and Chairman of the National Sports Commission, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, through the President of NFF, Alhaji Aminu Maigari.

Nigeria’s sports-loving number one citizen will be among heads of state expected at the closing ceremony inside the National Stadium (known until recently as Soccer city) in Soweto on Sunday, February 10.

This is also contingent on the Eagles overcoming the Ivorian Elephants on Sunday, and then winning their semi final clash against the winner of Saturday’s clash between host South Africa and Mali in Durban.

“President Jonathan has told me that he wants to be at the final match, and that is only on condition that you are in the final. That is why you have to go all out, first against the Ivoirians on Sunday. Let us take it one match at a time,” said Abdullahi.

President Jonathan was a surprise guest at the Super Eagles’ training session at the National Stadium, Abuja, days before the team’s first leg, final qualifying-match against Liberia in Monrovia in September 2012.

He is the first head of government of Nigeria to personally attend the national team’s training since Alhaji Shehu Shagari visited the team camp on the eve of the 1980 Africa Cup of Nations finals.

The President spoke with each member of the team prior to the Group C clash with Zambia in Nelspruit on January 25.

It can also be recalled that President Jonathan was at the Super Eagles’ camp at Protea Hotel Wanderers in Johannesburg on the eve of their opening 2010 FIFA World Cup match against Argentina.

The Sports Minister will speak with each member of the squad before Sunday’s battle.