The battle of Monrovia has taken added value with the Presidents of Nigeria and Liberia backing their teams strongly to win the match on Saturday.
Super Eagles stars of Victor Moses and Efe Ambrose on Wednesday said they were not worried by the campaign launched by Liberia’s President Ellen Sirleaf-Johnson, to help the Lone Star beat the Super Eagles in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match.
President Eileen Sirleaf–Johnson added to the presidential backing when she constituted a mobilisation committee on Wednesday, led by former president of Liberian Football Federation, Edwin Snowe, to motivate the public against the visiting Nigerians. As it is with wars, the Liberians code named their programme “Operation Crush Nigeria.”
Johnson was responding to the message sent to the Eagles on Tuesday by President Goodluck Jonathan who asked the Sports Minister Bolaji Abdullahi to deliver his personal message to the team. The message followed the Monday direct phone call made to the Eagles coach Stephen Keshi on the importance of winning the encounter. Jonathan then followed up the Liberian rally with a personal visit to the Eagles at training on Wednesday.
The presidential campaigns were taken with the right measure by Moses and Ambrose, who assured of their readiness to secure the honours right in Monrovia.
Amrose who spoke first said, “We know what is at stake and are prepared to give more than 100 percent because that is what is required to secure victory in Monrovia. Their president is behind them, but our motive is not only to win there, but to secure our Africa Cup of Nations qualification before the return leg in Nigeria.”
Moses, who recently joined Chelsea said, “I don’t normally like to boast, but we want to make light of the Liberians by going for victory. It is a very important assignment because I want to appear in my first Nations Cup and don’t want to see Liberia as a barrier.”
Both players spoke at their hotel base just hours before Jonathan led a delegation to the Abuja National Stadium to cheer them up at training. During the visit he underlined the importance of the game to Nigerians.
The Eagles will fly out aboard a chartered aircraft to Monrovia Friday morning. They are expected to return immediately after the match.