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Eagles’ AFCON triumph will underscore significance of the Nigerian spirit – Gusua

Eagles’ AFCON triumph will underscore significance of the Nigerian spirit – Gusua

President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Ibrahim Gusau, believes that Super Eagles’ victory over Ivory Coast in the 34th Africa Cup of Nations Final on Sunday will once more confirm to Nigerians at home and abroad the ultra-potency of the much-talked-about Nigerian spirit.

In a statement by the Communications department of the NFF, Gusua said the victory will propel Nigeria to rise above some of the challenges the country is facing.

He said, “We have always been talking about the Nigerian spirit but many people simply pay lip service to it. The Nigerian spirit is of high significance; it is the overpowering conviction that we can get things done with our will-power, hard work, diligence and perseverance.

“Presently, we may be having challenges in certain sectors and facets of our national life, but the Nigerian spirit can propel us to overcome those challenges and then reach for glory. That is what the Super Eagles have shown here. At the beginning of the tournament, very few people believed in the team. Now, six matches after, we are looking at the trophy and I believe it will definitely be ours.”

The NFF president has called on Nigerians from all walks of life to pray for the Super Eagles’ triumph on Sunday.

“The triumph will certainly rejuvenate our collective passion to work for the greatness of our communities and the nation at large, and rekindle hope that all present challenges will soon become thorns that we have left behind us,” he added.

Gusau used the opportunity to mourn the five individuals who lost their lives during the tension-soaked penalty shootout victory over South Africa’s Bafana Bafana in Bouaké on Wednesday.

He said, “The Super Eagles already had a minute silence for the dead, but I also want to pray to God to grant the souls of the departed eternal rest. Football is a game of intense passion and the capacity for shock and disappointing results is different from one person to the other. We pray that God will grant the families and friends left behind by the dead the fortitude to bear the losses.”

Sunday’s encounter will be Nigeria’s eighth final appearance in the 67-year old AFCON, with only seven-time champions Egypt and four-time champions Ghana with more final-day games.

Egypt have been in the final a total of 10 times, losing out only thrice. Ghana have been in the final nine times, winning only four times.


• Egypt: 10 (Won in 1957, 1959, 1986, 1998, 2006, 2008 & 2010; Lost in 1962, 2017 & 2021)
• Ghana: 9 (Won in 1963, 1965, 1978 & 1982; Lost in 1968, 1970, 1992, 2010 & 2015)
• Cameroon: 7 (Won in 1984, 1988, 2000, 2002 & 2017; Lost in 1986 & 2008)
• Nigeria: 7* (Won in 1980, 1994 & 2013; Lost in 1984, 1988, 1990 & 2000) *Playing 8th Final on Sunday
• Ivory Coast 4* (Won in 1992 & 2015; Lost in 2006 & 2012) *Playing 5th Final on Sunday
• Algeria 3 (Won in 1990 & 2019; Lost in 1980)
• Zambia 3 (Won in 2012; Lost in 1974 & 1994)
• Tunisia 3 (Won in 2004; Lost in 1965 & 1996) 
• Senegal 3 (Won in 2021; Lost in 2002 & 2019)

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