AFCON: Osimhen cleared to face Bafana Bafana

By Femi Atolagbe


Reigning Africa Player of the Year Victor Osimhen has arrived in Bouake, Cote d’Ivoire’s second city that will host today’s Africa Cup of Nations semi-final match between Nigeria and South Africa.

The lanky forward, who has been key to Nigeria’s progress in this championship, with endless running and magnificent passes to wreck the opposition, has yesterday cleared to feature in the big game. He was part of the team’s training at the Stade Annexe, Bouake on Tuesday evening.

Team medics performed their final tests and took the decision that he is available for the encounter after the striker arrived at the purpose-built Games Village on Tuesday afternoon. When the rest of the party travelled out of Abidjan on Monday night, Osimhen was left behind at their Pullman Hotel as a result of abdominal discomfort.

Meanwhile, President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Alhaji Ibrahim Musa Gusau has been conferred with the AFCON Leadership Excellence Award by Project Fly With Us Africa, during the unveiling of the Africa Sports and Tourism Awards at the Hotel Sofitel, Abidjan at the weekend.

 The Convener of the Awards, Ambassador Peace Onuiri explained that the NFF President has changed the narrative in Nigeria Football, which is evident in the performance of the Super Eagles so far at the 34th Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivoire. Three-time champions Nigeria have reached the tournament semi-finals for the 16th time in their 20 appearances.

“The ASTA Awards is to recognize, celebrate and honour the immense contributions of top performers in sports tourism across the African continent,” explained Ambassador Onuiri, who is also a Global Ambassador/Commissioner for health and safety for African Tourism Board and the CEO of Project Fly With Us Africa. “The investiture comes with two return flight tickets to the East African Safari.”

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Project Fly With Us Africa, a tourism destination company and sports promotion outfit, has been campaigning for Nigerians to support the Super Eagles’ quest for a fourth African title at the Africa Cup of Nations finals in Cote d’Ivoire.

The company has also honoured former Nigeria captain Augustine ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha.

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