Flying Eagles miss plot of land in Abuja after World Cup exit
• I did it to motivate players, says Wamakko
The Flying Eagles have missed a golden opportunity of owning a plot of land in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, following their quarterfinal exit at the ongoing FIFA U-20 World Cup.
The team, which was runners-up on two occasions, at Saudi Arabia ‘89 and Holland 2005, as well as bronze medalists at USSR ’85, crashed out on Sunday night after losing 0-1 to Korea Republic at extra time.
It was the second time coach Isa Ladan Bosso would lead the Flying Eagles to a quarterfinal exit at the U-20 World Cup, as he suffered a 4-0 defeat to Chile, also at extra time, at Canada 2007 edition of the championship.
Before their second Group match against Italy, which the Flying Eagles won 2-0, the Proprietor of Jedo FC of Sokoto, Alhaji Aliyu Oroji Wamakko, dangled a big motivation to the players by telling them to win the World Cup and get a plot of land measuring 500 square meters in the FCT. But the opportunity eluded the players on Sunday night.
Speaking with The Guardian, yesterday, Wamakko, who is the President of Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAM), described the team’s quarterfinal exit as sad.
“I feel sad that the Flying Eagles could not survive the quarterfinal game against Korea on Sunday. I watched the match, and I feel the boys gave their best. It was just unfortunate they couldn’t take their chances. But I am proud of their performance at the World Cup. I decided to offer them a plot of land in Abuja as my way of motivating the players.
“Nobody told me to do it. If they had defeated Korea, and progressed to the semifinal and then win the World Cup, all the players would have become instant landowners in Abuja. It is so unfortunate that they missed the golden opportunity,” Wamakko declared.