FG promises reception, rewards for Super Eagles

• Peseiro waits on ‘ailing’ Osimhen, Zaidu
The Federal Government will host the Super Eagles to a ‘befitting’ reception in Abuja, where the players and their officials will be rewarded ‘adequately’ for their efforts at the Africa Cup of Nations, which comes to an end on Sunday in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.

Nigeria defeated South Africa 4-2 on penalties in the first semifinal of the ongoing AFCON in Bouake after the regular and added time ended 1-1 on Wednesday.

Speaking to the players and their officials in their dressing room after the match, Vice President, Kashim Shettima, said the government and the people of Nigeria were proud of their accomplishment.

Accompanied by Governors Dapo Abiodun (Ogun) and Duoye Diri (Bayelsa), Minister for Youth, Dr Jamila Ibrahim, as well as oil mogul, Wale Tinubu, FIFA Council Member, Amaju Pinnick and NFF President, Ibrahim Gusau, Shettima said the Federal Government is pleased with the team’s efforts, adding that a grand reception awaits them on return from the championship.

Meanwhile, Super Eagles’ Manager, Jose Peseiro, has said that he is not sure if Porto defender, Zaidu Sanusi, would be fit enough to play in the final match of the championship against hosts, Cote d’Ivoire, on Sunday.

Zaidu did not feature in the semifinal match against South Africa due to an injury he copped in the quarterfinal against Angola. His place was taken by Bright Osayi-Samuel, who moved to the right back, while Ola Aina played in the left back position.

Zaidu was not involved in the Super Eagles recovery workout last weekend, but he was in the training ground and also showed up for the final training session before the clash against South Africa.

Speaking at the post-match press conference, Peseiro said: “Osimhen was suffering from problems in the stomach. As for Zaidu, it’s an injury he picked up in the match against Angola, he didn’t practise yesterday.

“I don’t know if he can recover. I hope he can recover for the next match but he’s out now because of injury. He didn’t do any practice these last few days.”

Meanwhile, there are reports that Kelechi Iheanacho, who scored Nigeria’s winning penalty in the shootout with South Africa on Wednesday, is embroiled in a ‘rift’ with Peseiro, hence his absence from matches.

The Leicester City star was meant to be involved in a pre-match press conference prior to the semifinal against South Africa, but he did not attend the event.

However, Peseiro suggested that Iheanacho had been given no playing time because he is just returning from injury.

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