The Golden Eaglets have intensified their training at the Practice Pitch of the U.J Esuene Sports Stadium ahead of their Second Round, First Leg qualifier against Guinea next month in Calabar.
The team had observed three days of rest day after disposing-off neighbouring Niger with a comprehensive 10-1 aggregate score line last weekend.
“Everything is going on as planned,” assures Coach Garba. “We are continuing with our training routine and there would be slight alteration as circumstances demand.”
Meanwhile, the Golden Eaglets’ players and officials have given their unequivocal support to the campaign which is geared towards eradication of violent behaviour in sports-particularly in the beautiful game of soccer!
A Non- Governmental Organisation (NGO), 1 GAME, is now at the forefront of purging violence from football with the theme: Football without violence campaign. The NGO was founded in June 2010 at the instance of Mr. Philip Obaji, an Executive Committee member of the Cross River State Football Association who doubles as the Chairman of the Association’s Media and Marketing Committee.
At a recent endorsement and autograph signing event at the Golden Eaglets’ Princeville Hotel camp in Calabar, Obaji reiterated that it was his desire to put an end to violence and fanaticism in football.
Golden Eaglets’ Head coach, Manu Garba (MFR), said the initiative is a welcome development since sports and football is all about sportsmanship and fair play.
“As an individual, I hate violence and I’m in support of any initiative that would ensure that we put an end to any violent behaviour particularly in sport,” he said. “The football environment should be conducive so that the fans, players and officials can enjoy the game. I’m therefore, calling on Nigerians to support 1 GAME in this onerous task.”
The same sentiments were echoed by the youngsters in the Golden Eaglets and they believe that the efforts of 1 GAME portend a good omen for Nigerian football.
“Violence is not good and it doesn’t show good conduct,” said Akinjide Idowu, the Golden Eaglets’ hard-tackling defender.
“Of course, players and fans can argue over issues but it should never be allowed to degenerate into violence. We have to commend those behind this campaign which I believe would help the fans to know that violence is not a good thing.”
Similarly, Saliu Ali-Baba, the former Under-15 captain, is also of the view that every lover of the game should detest violence, adding that peaceful coexistence should be encouraged.
“Any kind of sport is meant to be enjoyed and we all derive joy in watching beautiful football, so why should some people be fighting when results did not go in their favour? said Ali-Baba.
“This campaign against violence in football is a good gesture and it should be sustained.”