R360,000 incentive offered to Nigeria players for every goal they score against Bafana keeper Khune
Nigeria have been given a cash incentive to score goals in their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier against South Africa after the Governor of Delta State Ifeanyi Okowa pledged US$25‚000 (R360‚000) for every time they found the back of the net at the FNB Stadium on Saturday.
Okowa made the announcement when he visited team training on Tuesday‚ offering no explanation as to whether the offer was made in his private capacity or using public funds.
“I am pleased to have the Super Eagles here in Asaba‚” Okowa told the team in front of reporters.
“We hope you make Asaba your home‚ and as a people we will begin to follow your progress even more closely.
“We appreciate the giant strides Nigerian football is making and commend the leadership of the Nigeria Football Federation for making Delta State part of its success story.
“For every goal scored by the Super Eagles in Johannesburg on Saturday‚ we pledge a reward of US$25‚000. Please don’t put a limit to the number of goals you score on Saturday; try and score as many as possible.”
Nigeria will return to Delta State after the Bafana clash for a home friendly with Uganda on Tuesday and coach Gernot Rohr said he was pleased with the improvements made at the Stephen Keshi Stadium.
“I thank the Delta State Government for their hospitality and for making us feel so comfortable. I am so happy because the pitch is in a much better state than the last time I was here‚” Rohr said.
“The Super Eagles will continue to work hard to make all those who have played one role or the other in its progress happy that their investment in the team is not a waste.”
It means that if the side manages three goals against Bafana the players will split more than R1m‚ though in truth it is still small change for most of the squad‚ who are on big contracts in Europe.
The move is likely a publicity stunt by Okowa to show his support for the team and garner favour among his constituents in Delta State.
The real incentive will be to secure the point they need to a place at the Afcon finals in Cameroon next June-July‚ while victory will also see them end a four-game winless streak against Bafana.
Nigeria were still without France-based Samuel Kalu in training on Tuesday‚ though he was expected to arrive overnight from Ligue 1 club Bordeaux.
Nigeria will have a closed training session on Wednesday before travelling to South Africa.