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Published On: Thu, Sep 5th, 2019

How former minister of sports ceased Jo Bonfrere’s ’96 Olympic Medal

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It has emerged that former U-23 coach, Jo Bonfrere does not have anything to show his grandchildren that he won a gold medal at the Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996.
Bonfrere who coached the Nigerian team to win gold at the football event after beating Argentina 3-2 in a pulsating final, says that medal is missing in his cabinet.
In a letter the Dutch tactician wrote to Governor Babajide Sanwa-Olu of Lagos State, he narrated how the then Minister of Sports, Senator Jim Nwobodo directed that his medal be taken away from him immediately after the presentation at the stadium.
“The Sports Minister during the Atlanta ’96 Olympics, Senator Jim Nwobodo, asked his PA to collect my gold medal in Atlanta while on the line after we were awarded.
“Since then, I have written letters severally asking for my medal without receiving any response from the appropriate quarters.
“I thank God for the opportunity to meet Governor Sanwa-Olu because everyone has been talking about the great works he’s doing in Lagos.
“I want the governor to use his office to help me retrieve my medal. At the moment, I don’t have anything to show that I won an Olympic gold medal for Nigeria ” Bonfrere lamented.
The former Super Eagles’ coach also appealed to Gov Sanwa-Olu to look into the issue of the land promised him by the Lagos State Government for winning gold for Nigeria at the Atlanta ’96 Olympic Games.
Bonfrere pleaded with the governor to assist him get the allocation of the landed property given to him as the Chief Coach of the team on June 6, 1997.
“As the Chief Coach, I was supposed to be the first to be given a land but I’ve not received any allocation. I heard the land is somewhere in Abraham Adesanya area of Lekki.”

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