Saturday, March 26, 2016 4:45 pm
Gov. Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state, has said the Pharaohs of Egypt equaliser against the Super Eagles during the 2017 AFCON qualifier played at Ahmadu Bello Stadium on Friday was not in the spirit of fair-play.
El-Rufai made the remark at a dinner he held in honour of the Super Eagles on Friday night at Sir Kashim Ibrahim House, Kaduna.
According to him, the centre referee ought to have detected that the Egyptian goal scorer, Mohamed Salah was in the offside position.
The equaliser came in the stoppage time of the match.
The Super Eagles’ Oghenekaro Etebo scored the curtain raiser at the 60th minute of the match.
The governor said that the Eagles played an excellent game and assured them that Kaduna fans would always support them in all their matches played in the state capital.
“You played excellent football. You were in control 65 per cent of the time; but perhaps the god of football was not on our side today.
“We have said to you that you will not lose a match in Kaduna and you have not lost.” he said.
El-Rufai said he has no doubt that the Eagles would beat the Egyptians on March 29 at their own soil in the return leg of the match.
Also speaking, the Minister of Sport and Youth Development, Mr Solomon Dalong said though the Eagles drew 1-1 with the Egyptians, the match was not a total loss.
“Even if it was a loss, it is good to lose once in a while as no human is an angel and a loss once in a while makes one stronger to work harder.’’
He said that the Eagles did their best and should not worry of the last minute disappointment.
He said that the Nigerian players would not have left the stadium in one piece if the fans were satisfied with their performance, considering the crowd at the stadium.
The Minister concurred with the governor’s remark that the god of football was not on the side of the Eagles
He promised that the ministry would always support the national team.
Dignitaries that attended the dinner included the President, Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, the interim coach of the national team, Samson Siasia and the team’s captain Mikel Obi.