Super Eagles captain Joseph Yobo on Thursday reiterated his desire for the team to win the 2013 Africa Nations Cup. Yobo re-emphasized his wish on the team’s arrival in Nelspruit, South Africa for the competition which kicks off on Saturday.
The Fenerbahce defender who alluded to the fact that the 2013 tourney should be his last told reporters that getting the trophy would be a wonderful way to retire.
He said, “And I want to leave the stage by winning something for the team so that those coming behind will have something to look up to. We want Nigerians to support us and know that this young team has the ability to deliver but they must be patient with us and remain behind the team at all times”.
The team had on Wednesday afternoon left its Faro, Portugal training camp by road to Lisbon from where the 23 players and officials led by Coach Stephen Keshi were joined by a member of the football federation and Enyimba of Aba Chairman, Felix Anyasi Agwu. It was from there that the team caught an Air France plane to Paris, France which flew them to Johannesburg.
The team was met by Nigerian Embassy officials and some supporters on arrival in Johannesburg. Eagle later connected to Nelspruit and settled into the Ingwenyama Sports and Resort Centre. Nigeria’s first game is against Burkina Faso on Monday evening.
But as Yobo and his teammates target the trophy, the Nigeria Football Federation has been forced to put aside proposed enhanced win bonuses for the competition.
Head of NFF finance committee Shehu Adamu told MTNFootball.com that there would be no added incentives for the Eagles to win the Nations Cup. He said that the federation would maintain the regular win bonus of $10,000 and $5,000 for draw in South Africa.
“We are not preparing anything special as incentives for the Eagles. It’s the regular bonus they would get,” Adamu said.
The NFF had proposed huge bonuses that would have gone for as much as $30,000-a-player for a win in the AFCON final. The figure would have made the Eagles some of the biggest earners in the competition. Nigeria’s Group C opponents were on Wednesday promised more than $111,000 each if they are able to win the coveted African cup. Defending champions Zambia are also in the group.