12 January 2018

Nigeria: Soccer Star Fashanu Dubs Eagles, Libya Clash Battle Against Slavery

Photo: This Day
John Fashanu

Former football star, John Fashanu, has likened the forthcoming African Nations Championship (CHAN) match between Libya and Nigeria as a battle against slavery.

The Group C fixture comes up in Tangier, Morocco on January 23.

Libya has been plunged into political instability since the overthrow of the regime of dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Recently, the country has got the sticks for the enslavement of African migrants seeking to reach Europe via the Mediterranean corridor.

The match against the Home-based Eagles will have a political dimension given Nigerians were among the black African people enslaved in the north African country.

Nigerians in batches have continued to be repatriated from the unstable country

through the intervention of the federal government.

Fashanu, an ex England international striker, slammed Libya, saying the country should almost be rated a terrorist country for violating the dignity of Black Africans.

"Nigeria match against Libya will be a bombshell. I hope we get to do well and in fact win the match against Libya," Fashanu said.

The former Wimbledon player further suggested that the high profile fixture be used as platform for a campaign against slavery and to expose the horrible and ridiculous things going on in the country at the moment.

" I know our players will play three times better than they always do because everybody has been affected one way and another way. The abuse of Black African people is annoying. What we see on TV on Libya is just a little scratch of the top of the mountain. Everyday more people are being abused in Libya- and there are thousands of Nigerians going through that hellhole," stressed Fashanu.

Nigeria, coached by Salisu Yusuf will aspire to better the third position they finished in South Africa in 2014 in their maiden appearance in the competition.

Meanwhile, Eagles have rated last Wednesday's friendly against Cameroon as a good test and will now depart to Tangier by road today.

Eagles drew 0-0 with Cameroon ahead of their opening Group C clash against Rwanda in Tangier on Monday night.

Spokesman of the team, Toyin Ibitoye, said on telephone from Morocco yesterday that the test game with Cameroon was not all about winning but to gauge the readiness of the team for the tournament.

"The good practice game, it was not about the result but how the players performed," said Ibitoye.

"It was a very physical game as both teams went for it, good for us, this was more than just a friendly. So far, no injury to worry about for our boys.

"The game showed that this tournament won't be a stroll in the park.

"The boys are hungry to do well; they are motivated to deliver with the World Cup on the horizon."

Eagles did their last training thursday evening before the planned departure for Rabat enroute Tangier today. The trip to Tangier is two hours by road.

They will meet Libya in between fixtures against Rwanda on January 15 and Equatorial Guinea on January 23.

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