Ahead of the November 16, 2013, second leg World Cup qualification tie between Nigeria and Ethiopia, former Nigerian football international and wing sensation, Segun Odegbami, says “there is no other place for the Super Eagles to play in Nigeria, other than in Calabar”.
Odegbami who was speaking on the line from Lagos on the Maurice Inok hosted “Men’s Roundtable” on CRBC FM 105.5, said it has become imperative to say so because the Super Eagles have not in recent times enjoyed the rich vein of form that Calabar has afforded them. He was also particular that the secure nature of the state was also another reason why the Eagles have brought down opponent after opponent without distractions.
Odegbami was quick to point out that, “it is only in Calabar that players of the Super Eagles do not carry their personal bodyguards around. I mean in places like Lagos and Abuja, they carry bodyguards to matches to ward off miscreants and other criminal elements, but Calabar is different and unfortunately the people in Calabar do not even know what beautiful city they have”.
On the game proper, Odegbami who was part of the Eagles “Class of 1980” that won the Africa Nations Cup in Lagos, insisted that, “it is going to be a very interesting game because we will win”, adding again that, “we must paint the whole of Calabar green and white, our national colours must stand out at the stadium on that day as that win will ensure that we will be celebrating our greatest football victory in recent times”.
The U.J. Esuene stadium turf in Calabar was adjudged the best in Nigeria by the ex-international, pointing out that stadia in Nigeria with artificial turf need to come to Calabar and see how the grass turf has been well taken care of. He charged those in charge of the management of the stadium to keep up the good work.
He had only kind words for Nigeria coach, Stephen Keshi. Hear him, “Keshi has proved a lot of us right, he has built Nigeria a team with a winning mentality, a team that is a perfect blend of domestic and foreign based stars as he promised and after we qualify for Brazil 2014, that team can only get better. Keshi deserves more than a pat on the back for taking this great footballing nation to where it ought to be; the summit of African football”.
State governor, Liyel Imoke, was also commended “for the tremendous support he has given the team and the believe in getting behind the Eagles”. Odegbami ended by saying that the final match will “signal the beginning of better things to come for the Eagles”.
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