Ibrahim Shaibu in Kano
Former African football stars including Nwankwo Kanu; former Senegal and Liverpool forward, El Hadji Diouf; former South African Captain, Aaron Mokoena, and former Zimbabwe star, Benjani Nwaruwari were all in action thursday as some legend of the game in the continent played Kano Pillars FC in a charity game at the Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano.
These former stars trooped into the ancient city to play in the charity match put together to raise funds for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the North-East of Nigeria.
Although the game watched by a capacity crowd at the Sai Masu Gida ground ended 2-1 in favour of the NPFL team, the legends showed glimpses of what made them popular amongst African football fans.
Akide Ibrahim scored both goals for Pillars while former Mokoena got the Legends’ consolation goal.
Ex Nigerian players including Daniel Amokachi, Garba Lawal and Tijani Babangida played on the side of the legends with Super Eagles Brown Ideye also spicing up the team with fresh legs.
Speaking shortly after the game, Kanu expressed his happiness being part of the game. He described the initiative aimed at bringing succour to persons made homeless as a result of the terrorist activities in North East as a laudable one.
“It’s an opportunity for us (ex internationals) to show support for the internally displaced persons and we are glad to be here in Kano today.
“The organisers have done a good job in arranging this game and bringing all these former African stars here. I want to say a big kudos to them,” concludes the former African player of the year who also has a foundation for taking care of children and persons suffering from heart diseases.
One of the organisers of the event, Moo Mohammed Mustapha, had earlier described the game as “just more than a game.”
He indicated that it was the first time in the history of football that a group of legends would be playing to raise funds and highlight the challenges of IDPs in Nigeria.
Chairperson of the Local Organising Committee, Miss Abi Goodman, painted a pathetic picture of the disheartening condition of the IDPs. She urged the world to rise up to action to support the Federal Government’s efforts to make life meaningful for these displaced persons once again.