Gov. David Umahi has joined millions of football fans in Abakaliki, to congratulate Morrocco for breaking the African jinx of qualifying for the semi finals of the World Cup.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Atlas Lions on Saturday, defeated Portugal in the quarter finals of the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Qatar by 1-0.
Morocco thus becomes the first African team to qualify for the semi finals of the prestigious competition after the continent’s near misses from Cameroon in 1990, Senegal in 2002 and Ghana in 2010.
Umahi, who spoke through the state Commissioner for Youth Development and Sports, Charlse Akpuenika, said that every African should be proud of the moment.
“I want to re-echo the popular saying that what God cannot do does not exist and this is what we have witnessed.
“Africa has waited since the competition started in 1930 for this moment and it is really worthy of praising God,” he said.
The governor congratulated the Moroccan players for their tenacity, noting that they were really committed to succeed.
“The players showed from their first game that they came to the competition to create history and die for their country on the pitch.
“This is a huge lesson for Nigerians in all spheres of life that patriotism and selflessness would make us achieve our set goals,” he said.
He noted that his administration would finish on a high note, especially in the area of sports, to ensure that youths achieved their life ambitions through the sector.
“We would definitely complete the construction of the ultra modern Olympic Stadium in Abakaliki, which would be a sporting model in the country,” he said.
Chike Aribo, former Golden Eaglet Player, described Morocco as the true champions of Africa as it had proved bookmakers wrong with its splendid performances.
“The team defeated Belgium and eliminated Spain and Portugal, all world football super powers.
“The whole of Africa should unite in praying for the team to perform the unthinkable feat of winning the World Cup,” he said.
Mrs Chinyere Okeh, a Teacher and Soccer Buff, urged the players not to be complacent but approach the remaining matches with utmost seriousness.
“The remaining countries in the competition would presently be wary of the Moroccans and would do anything to halt their winning streak,” she said. (NAN)