… To honour golden class of 1994
By Albert Akota
Secretary General of world football –ruling body, FIFA, Ms Fatma Samoura has arrived Nigeria, ahead of more than 20 Presidents of FIFA’s Member Associations across the African continent for today’s 2nd AITEO-NFF Football Awards taking place at the Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.
At lunch yesterday with the bigwigs of the NFF and a number of stakeholders of the Nigeria game, the Senegalese born former UN top official expressed her delight with being invited to Nigeria for the Awards and also for being considered worthy of a special award on the night.
AITEO’s General Manager, Finance, Taiye Eyewuoma stated that the sponsor, Nigeria’s leading energy solution company and NFF’s Official Optimum Partner, is committed to continuing to sponsor the awards ceremony as the partnership “is yielding good dividends for AITEO”. AITEO is also the sponsor of the Federation Cup competition and the annual African Football Awards.
Today’s event will be broadcast live by leading television houses SuperSport and Africa Independent Television (AIT).
Among the highlights of the night would be the special honour to the 1994 set of Super Eagles the squad forever referred to as the ‘Golden Generation’ for being the first to qualifying Nigeria for the FIFA World Cup finals, winning the Africa Cup of Nations in Tunisia and reaching the Round of 16 at the World Cup finals in America.
A good number of the squad members teamed up with the Dream Team of 1996 that became Africa’s first winners of the men’s football gold at the quadrennial Olympic Games.
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State will be presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award, while internationally –renown business mogul, politician and avid football financier and supporter, Chief Moshood Kasimawo Olawale Abiola, who died in 1998, will be honoured post –humously with the NFF Presidential Award.
Former Nigeria captain, Olusegun Odegbami, Super Falcons’ legend Maureen Madu, former Super Falcons’ coach Edwin Okon, former FIFA referee Faith Irabor and Chairman of the Nigeria Women Football League, Aisha Falode would be among the presenters at the event.
Eagles’ Class of 1994 -the team that qualified Nigeria for her first -ever FIFA World Cup finals and won the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time on away ground is to be honoured today at the AITEO-NFF Football Awards.
Rashidi Yekini, the gangling goal king who scored the country’s first ever World Cup goal against Bulgaria leads those who have passed on. Others include Uche Okafor, Thompson Oliha, Wilfred Agbonnavbare and Captain of the team, Stephen Keshi.