Wednesday, 4 May 2011
Flying Eagles of Nigeria treated to a heroic welcome
The Nigerians, who defeated Cameroun 3-2 on Sunday to clinch the African Youth Championship (AYC) title, were led into the country by the President of the Nigeria Football Federation Aminu Maigari, and welcomed by hundreds of singing fans and eager journalists who came to catch a glimpse of the new set of football heroes.
Coach of the team, John Obuh thanked everybody that supported the team en-route to being crowned champions of Africa for a record sixth time. .
"It wasn't an easy tournament no doubt but we thank God we came out victorious," he said. "We will continue to work hard and improve the team."
Through the streets
Unlike the Super Falcons, who on their return to the country after their victorious conquest at last year's African Women's Championships were conveyed to their hotel aboard a truck not befitting of champions, the Flying Eagles were placed in an open-roof bus made available by the Lagos State government.
The team also displayed the Africa Youth Championship trophy as they were driven through the streets of Lagos From the departure lounge of the airport the players were taken to the presidential lounge of the airport where the sports minister Taoheed Adedoja was on hand to receive the team.
Adedoja told the victorious team that President Goodluck Jonathan was very pleased with their performance in South Africa and had given his word that they will get a befitting reception from the presidency.
"The trophy you won is a sign of hard work and team work, I will call this trophy Nigeria's Goodluck Cup," Adedoja said.
Adedoja urged the team not to relent on their achievement as much would be expected from them at the World Championships in Colombia later in the year.
"We are happy that you are the new African champions but we will pray that you will also go ahead to rule the world," he added.
The players and officials of the Flying Eagles were later treated to a dinner at the Sheraton Hotels in Ikeja.
The Flying Eagles' victory gave Nigeria its first AYC title since 2005.