This Day (Lagos)

13 February 2013

Nigeria: NFF Lauds President Jonathan

The Nigeria Football Federation has expressed heartfelt appreciation to President Goodluck Jonathan, GCFR for his excellent gestures to the Senior National Football Team, Super Eagles for winning the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa on Sunday.

At a presidential reception for the heroes, at State House, Abuja on Tuesday evening, President Jonathan showered monetary and National Award gifts on players and officials of the team, which won the Cup of Nations for the country for the third time in the competition's 56-year history.

NFF President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari said: "We are full of praise for President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GCFR) for his gestures of monetary and National Award gifts to the players, the coaches and the backroom staff. These gestures further confirm the fact that our dear President is a true lover of sports and a firm lover of excellence.

"On our part at the Nigeria Football Federation, we will continue to do our best to bring glory to our nation through adequate preparation of the National Teams to achieve victory at international level," Maigari said.

Head Coach Stephen Keshi, who is now the only man alive to have won the Africa Cup of Nations both as player and as coach, was given the National Award of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) and a cash reward of N10 million. His assistants and Captain Joseph Yobo, who lifted the trophy at the sixth time of trying and is Nigeria's record caps-holder, were handed cheques of five million naira each plus the National Award of Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON).

The other 22 players got five million naira each and the National Award of Member of the Order of the Niger (MON)

The NFF President also praised Sports Minister Bolaji Abdullahi: "Of course, there were challenges here and there even during the qualifying series and the preparations. But we are happy to have overcome, thanks in no small measure to the personal commitment and keen interest of the Honourable Minister/Chairman of the National Sports Commission, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi."

Maigari also commended several sports-loving Governors who have identified with the team following the success, as well as business moguls Aliko Dangote, Mike Adenuga Jnr, Mr. Jim Ovia and others who have extended hands of support and incentives to the team."

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