The FIFA U-17 World Cup-winning Golden Eaglets’ squad of 2013 has called on the Cross Rivers State Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, to redeem Cross River State’s pledge of a house gifts to players and officials of the team.
Sunday was the seventh anniversary when the coach Manu Garba-led side extended the country’s grip on the cadet trophy with her fourth title.
It was a feat that made Ayade’s predecessor, Senator Liyel Imoke, during the State’s banquet for the team at Government House in Calabar on November 15, 2013, announce the house gifts to the 21 players and 10 officials, adding that the houses would be located in the State’s new housing estate in Akpabuyo Local Government Area.
“Frankly, it’s unbelievable that we are yet to be given these houses almost 10 years after we won the FIFA U-17 World Cup and celebrated by everybody,” explained a crestfallen coach Garba.
He added: “In fact, we were most impressed when Senator Imoke said in the presence of the then Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi; former NFF President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari; and members of his cabinet, that he preferred house gifts as a lasting legacy than monetary rewards, but it’s unfortunate that after all these years, we are still waiting for the houses to be delivered to the players and officials.”
Garba’s assistant and former African Footballer of the Year, Emmanuel Amuneke, said it was incumbent on Governor Ayade to fulfil the promises since they were made on behalf of the people and government of Cross River State, adding that posterity will be kind to him if he redeem pledges expressively given to the Golden Eaglets.
“There is no way you want to write the story of the 2013 Golden Eaglets’ World Cup-winning squad without mentioning the people and government of Cross River State because they were part of the team’s success story,” noted Amuneke, who is also yet to be given the house gift pledged to the Super Eagles squad that won the Africa Cup of Nations in 1994.
“We would like to use this opportunity to beg current Governor Ben Ayade to fulfil this promise of house gifts to the players and officials of the team when we are all still alive, the labour of our heroes past as a matter of fact, should not be in vain.”