Not known to be flippant when it comes to making promises, Super Eagles boss, Stephen Keshi, momentarily threw that to the winds when he assured Nigerians and especially Governor Liyel Imoke of Cross River and the people of the state that the national team will offer a sweet victory to the nation come Saturday October 13 when they square up against Liberia at the UJ Esuene Stadium.
Keshi who was overwhelmed by the huge reception accorded the team on arrival at the Margaret Ekpo International Airport, thanked the leadership of the state and urged Nigerians to continue to pray for the team. “Because by God’s grace come Saturday we will give the nation a sweet victory and qualify for the Nations Cup in South Africa”.
Keshi also spoke on the arrival of his army of European based professionals, revealing for the umpteenth time that he has the promise of all of them to be in Calabar by Tuesday at the latest. He assured that there was enough time to prepare the team for the game against the Lone Star of Liberia, arguing that the fact that most of the players invited have been playing regularly for their clubsides is enough to make up for lost time.
The team was welcomed at the airport by the Commissioner of Sports, Hon. Patrick Ugbe, and a retinue of other top government functionaries, with the state chapter of the Nigeria Football and Other Sports Supporter Club drumming away to the delight of the seven home based players and officials.
The Arik Air Plane that took the team to Calabar, left Abuja at 10:50am and arrived the airport at 11:50, about an hour flight, that was described as fairly smooth. The team has since moved into its abode at the Metropolitan Hotel, while expecting the foreign based legion to start streaming in later in the day.