Nigeria’s Atlanta 1996 Olympic men’s football winning coach, Johannes-Franciscus Bonfrere has confirmed that he would be available to lead former Super Eagles stars in Saturday’s The Match for Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.
Simply known as Jo Bonfrere, the Dutch coach was the engine room of Clemens Westerhof’s all conquering 1994 Eagles that qualified Nigeria for her first appearance at the FIFA World Cup in USA in 1994.
One of the Organisers of “The Match for Ambode”, ex international, Waidi Akanni confirmed at the weekend that Bonfrere had accepted the invite to reunite with some of the players that took the world by storm, getting Nigeria ranked fifth best football playing country going to USA’94.
“We have Jo Bonfrere’s assurances already. We have sent his travel tickets and done all necessary bookings to make his stay in Lagos memorable one,” observed the former Nigerian midfielder.
He said Bonfrere’s return to Nigeria would be a reunion with some of his former players, who had retired from the beautiful game.
The Dutch coach was June last year presented with the three-bedroom apartment promised him by the Sani Abacha administration for winning the Olympics football gold medal for Nigeria 22 years after the feat.
He also led Nigeria to the 2000 African Cup of Nations co-hosted by Nigeria and Ghana. Bonfrère led the Nigerian team to the finals, where Eagles lost to Cameroon by penalties.
Bonfere is to be assisted by the duo of former Super Eagles Assistant Coach, Joe Erico and ex international, Henry Nwosu
‘The Match’ aimed to celebrate Gov. Ambode’s strides in provision of sports infrastructure for Lagos was moved from Onikan Stadium under reconstruction to Agege Stadium, Lagos.
Former World Footballer of the Year and President of Liberia, George Weah is listed amongst other retired top African soccer legends like El-Hadji Diouf, Michael Essien, Samuel Eto’O Fills, Abubarkar Titi Camara, Didier Zokora and Yaya Toure,
Others included: Richard Kingston, Herita Illunga, Christian Karembeu (former Real Madrid and France World Cup winner), Aaron Mokoena and Mamodu Sissoko among others coming for The Match.
Former Nigerian stars like Samson Siasia, Austin Eguavoen, Nwankwo Kanu and several of their contemporaries are to also feature at the match.