President of Liberia, George Weah, ex-Chelsea striker, Didier Drogba, Senegal’s 2002 World Cup star, El-Hadj Diouf and Ghanaian Michael Essien are among some of Africa’s football legends expected to take part in The Match, an exhibition game between an Africa XI side and Naija Legends scheduled for the Onikan Stadium, Lagos on March 16, 2019.
Speaking at a press conference in Lagos on Wednesday, ex-international Waidi Akanni said The Match is meant to honour Governor Akinwunmi Ambode for giant strides in sports development in Lagos State.
“As ex-internationals, we have seen the infrastructural developments in Lagos under Ambode. The Onikan Stadium had been abandoned over the years but is under reconstruction to meet FIFA standards.
The Teslim Balogun Stadium is undergoing similar reconstruction while the Agege and Epe stadiums are in fantastic shape, as well as the Maracana sports complex in Ajegunle.
These and other laudable efforts of Ambode in providing sports infrastructure, we believe, are aimed at providing the enabling environment for youths to thrive and achieve their dreams in sports,” Akanni stated.
Akanni added that part of the proceeds from the event would be used in supporting the education of kids of distressed ex-internationals. “If you go around, you will see several former footballers who served this country in several capacities but are unable to meet up in life. We will support their children’s education by paying their school fees from what we realise from the event.”
It was learnt that 21 African football legends would feature in the game while on the home front, ex-internationals like Samson Siasia, Nwankwo Kanu, Austin Okocha, Joseph Yobo, Julius Aghahowa and others have been listed to participate in the ceremonial encounter.
Kayode Bawa-Allah, Principal, The Match International, said, “Governor Ambode has done very well for sports. “We thank our platinum sponsors Access Bank and other sponsors for their support in our efforts to honour the governor.”