By Oluwole Francis
1980 Africa Cup of Nations AFCON winning team has been robbed of a 40th anniversary celebration put in place by the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development this week.
The 40th year anniversary of the national football team’s maiden victory of AFCON was yestereday Sunday and the Sports Minister, Mr. Sunday Dare is planning a beffiting celebration of the day for this week but the suspension of all sporting activities has due to the Covid-19 pandermic has stalled this.
“We were planning to celebrate this anniversary in style in honour of these great patriots, but due to the covid-19 scourge, we had to put it on hold.
“Once the situation returns to normal, we shall celebrate these worthy Nigerians. We shall continue to honour those that have won laurels for our great country. Their immense sacrifice cannot be forgotten” a statement from the Sports Ministry states.
Speaking in the same vein, Nigerian Football Ambassador, Daniel Amokachi described the team as more talented than the 1994 Nations Cup winning squad.
“The 1980 Green Eagles are the most talented Nigerian team ever. They were even better than the 1994 squad, which most Nigerians considered very talented.
“This team is under celebrated. Imagine a team that had Best Ogedegbe, Kadiri Ikhana, Muda Lawal, Segun Odegbami, Adokiye Amiesimaka, and Christian Chukwu among others.
“We have not done justice to these players because there is no archives detailing their achievements. Television was not too common then, so a lot of younger generation did not watch them play.
“Each time I watch the old video clips, I get inspired. They deserve to be celebrated more because their achievement encouraged a lot of younger players. They were not only talented; they were patriots and heroes who opened up opportunities for many younger players.
They have a big space in the history of not only Nigerian football, but Africa and the world at large. They can never be forgotten any time the history of football is discussed. ” Amokachi affirmed.