Home-based Eagles have apologised to Nigerians for the poor result they posted against Togo on Sunday in an African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifying match. The players led by goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa apologised to Nigerians for the shameful outing and promised to repay the Sparrow Hawks in bigger coins in the second leg and claim the Cameroon 2020 ticket.
Sparrow Hawks of Togo thrashed the Eagles 4-1 in a first leg, second round qualifying match of the 2020 CHAN despite the Nigeria being the first on the scoresheet after only eight minutes.
Addressing a disappointed Nigerian Ambassador to Togo, Joseph Olusola Iji after the match, Ezenwa said what had happened on Sunday evening had gone to the past as the team would redeem itself in the final leg of the fixture on October 19.
“Sir, we have been truly honoured by your fatherly care for us since we arrived in this country. The Embassy has ensured everything worked for our comfort here. We are pained that we could not reciprocate with a good result from this match. As a team we apologise for what has happened. What we are saying to you and Nigerians is that we are sorry and that we would make it up by securing the ticket. Kindly exercise some patience with us.
“What we are saying in one sentence is that we will qualify; it is not over yet.”
The Ambassador who had promised the team dinner in his residence kept to his promise in spite of the result at Stade de Kegue.
“We are all pained but I understand how it works in sports; sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. I ask that you put this result behind you and work towards the ultimate goal of qualifying. The only way to make all Nigerians happy again and give back our voice to us in this country is that you beat them well when they visit Nigeria. And I am sure that you can achieve that.”
The leader of delegation, NFF Board Member Alhaji Ganiyu Majekodunmi said: “Your Excellency, I can tell you that this is far from the expectation of the Federation. But these young ones have truly shown remorse. They were so dejected to leave their hotel again.
“Please understand that it was a deliberate move to field largely a young team because we are also looking to the future and this team has faced difficult games in the past and came off successful. And I am sure that given what I have seen of them, the ultimate goal to get to Cameroon in 2020 would be achieved.”