Football: Nigerian State Governor Promises Life-Changing Bonuses to Propel Rivers United FC to CAF Cup Win
As motivation to gear up players and officials of Rivers United Football Club to win the CAF Confederations Cup, Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has vowed to change the lives of the players as an individual, while the State will equally celebrate them.
The Governor challenged the players to make the State proud by doing everything possible to carry the coveted trophy at the upcoming Confederation of African Football (CAF) tournament.
He made the promise while presenting Yutong buses, ambulances, and other vehicles to the Rivers United and the State’s Women squad, the Rivers Angels Football Club at Government House in Port Harcourt Thursday, February 11.
Mr. Wike said, as players, they can write their names in gold while promoting the image of the State, urging them not to throw the opportunity to the winds.
Captain of Rivers United, Austin Festus (left) presents a branded jersey to Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike (right)
Rivers United Football Club started their campaign in the Confederation Cup on a bright note, winning all matches played so far. They had smooth rides over Future Kings Football Club, an Equato-Guinean football club based in the city of Mongomio and Bloemfontein Celtic, a South African club.
Rivers United have two-legged CAF Cup matches against Enyimba Football Club, another Nigerian team on February 14 and 21, 2021.
The team is also second on the log in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) with 18 points behind the league leaders, Enyimba FC who have 21 points.
“I believe that when you have an opportunity, you shouldn’t miss it. This is the time, not only to win laurels for the State but also to print your name in gold. Let it be known that you're part of the team that brought laurels and trophies to this State,” said Governor Woke.
“Let me assure you that the State Government will not relent to give you all the necessary support that you require to make you bring trophies at the end of this season.
“I hear you have a CAF Match ahead of you. Let me say to Rivers United FC, if you win the CAF Cup, your life will change. I will not say now what I will give to you. Just win the trophy first.
“The same applies to Rivers Angels. Win the trophies, be the first to go and play a tournament in Africa, then your life will also change.”
SUVs and buses donated by the Rivers State Governor to Rivers United and Rivers Angels teams and the supporters club
The Governor also motivated the teams with financial rewards should they secure any away win. He told them to always show that they are truly Rivers wherever they go for any competition and be determined to always emerge as the best.
“As a motivating factor, if you go and beat Enyimba, and come back, we will give you N20 million (about USD52,000). Henceforth, for the Rivers United, any match you win away, you'll have a bonus of N10 million (about USD26,000). The same amount applies to Rivers Angels.
“Continue to show other teams that you're really Rivers. You don't need to take second. You need to take first all the times.”
Governor Wike acknowledged the efforts of the sporting teams under the leadership of the State Commissioner of Sports, for using sports as a catalyst for development.
“I believe that this is the right time our people are using sports as a catalyst for development. You have been provided a state-of-the-art luxury bus for the Rivers United FC. The coaster for the girls is not allowed. Give them a luxury bus too. I will not allow that discrimination.
“The two teams, as you're leaving, they will go with two ambulances. To the technical crews, you’re also important because you help the teams to succeed. Whatever benefits they get will be extended to you,” the Governor said.
Governor Wike further announced the donation of a coaster bus to the Supporters Club for always providing a morale boost for the teams.
An elated Captain of Rivers United, Austin Festus promised that the club is poised to win more trophies for the State, which will also serve to reciprocate the support that they have enjoyed from Governor Wike.
Rivers State Commissioner for Sports, Boma Iyaye said they are grateful to Governor Wike for providing the clubs with brand new luxury buses and other vehicles.
Speaking, the National President of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, (SWAN), Honour Sirawo noted that Governor Wike had rehabilitated the training pitch at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, which is in use now, and has also not relented with other levels of support for sports-related activities.
Chief Coach of Rivers United Football Club, Port Harcourt, Stanley Eguma said Governor Wike made it possible for them to shine professionally when they were taken to Madrid in Spain plus other incentives that they have continued to enjoy.
General Manager of Rivers Angels Football Clubs, Port Harcourt, Matilda Otuene said Governor Wike was not only gender-friendly but a real father who had improved welfare conditions for them. She said the club had been enabled to retain a foreign-based player.