The national team of Nigeria Amputee Football Federation (NAFF), Special Eagles, on Monday promised to deliver the 2018 Amputee World Cup as a special anniversary gift to Nigeria @58. The Special Eagles will represent the nation in the 2018 Amputee Football World Cup holding in Mexico from Oct. 24 to Nov. 5.
The team’s Captain, Emmanuel Ibeawuchi, made the promise while speaking with NAN during their awareness programme on Oct. 1 at the National Stadium, Lagos. “We, the Special Eagles are preparing to represent Nigeria in Amputee World Cup and our utmost goal is to deliver the trophy to Nigeria as a special anniversary gift. “We will make up for the country’s loss at the FIFA 2018 World Cup in Russia as special footballers and give Nigerians even in the Diaspora reason to celebrate a world football tournament trophy.
“So, we are doing this awareness programme today to celebrate Nigeria at 58, to sensitise the public of our mission and to assure them that we will deliver,” he said. He called on football fans, ex international’s, corporate organisations and the public to identify with the NAFF Special Eagles as the team makes its first outing in the tournament.
“We feel honoured to have this long awaited opportunity to fly our country’s flag in Mexico and we will need the support of all sectors and individuals to have a successful outing,” he added. Meanwhile, Paul Maduakor, Chairman, Zenith Sports Ltd., and official kit sponsor of the Special Eagles team to the competition, told NAN that his involvement and interest was out of compassion.
Maduakor, Nigeria’s Brand Haggai partner to NAFF, said he observed the commitment and skills exhibited by the amputee footballers during training sessions and was motivated to identify with the team’s vision. “The physically challenged athletes have always distinguished themselves in international competitions in spite of little or no attention and here we have a set of amputee footballers driving towards same feat.
“At this point, they need encouragement and that is why we are identifying with them and to ensure that they appeared unique and be the pride of Nigeria in Mexico,” Maduakor said. He added that the Haggai jersey/tracksuits for fans, children and adult would be available at Zenith Sports Ltd., National Stadium, Lagos.
Nigeria, Russia, Brazil and El Salvador are in Group E of the WAFF organised World Cup in which 24 countries will compete for the trophy won by Russia in 2014.