By Francis Ajuonuma
National chairman of Nigeria Football Supporters Club (NFSC), Rev. Sam Ikpea says history is looking to repeat itself at the ongoing 2023 AFCON in Cote d’Ivoire with focus on the Super Eagles.
The Super Eagles and Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire will clash on Sunday in the final of the 2023 AFCON at 60, 000 capacity Stade Olympique Alassane Ouattara to decide the King of African Football..
Super Eagles, a three-time African champions last won the championship in 2013 in South Africa after winning it in 1980 in Lagos and 1994 in Tunisia.
Rev. Ikpea, who spoke with ThisNigeria on phone from Abidjan, the capital of Cote d’Ivoire, where he has been since January 13 with members of Nigeria Football Supporters Club drumming support for the Super Eagles, said that the happenings leading to the Super Eagles triumph in 2013 in South Africa have been repeating itself at the ongoing 2023 AFCON in Cote d’Ivoire and looks to continue in Sunday’s final.
“Just as it happened in 2013 in South Africa, it’s following the same trend in Cote d’ Ivoire and this has to do with the luck my birthday brings to the Super Eagles. At the 2013 AFCON I was in South Africa to drum support for the Super Eagles and my birthday coincidentally falls on February 6th the same day the Super Eagles met and defeated Mali 4-1 in the semi-final to reach the final where they eventually won the tournament.
“Though, this year my birthday came a day before the Super Eagles’ semifinal game against Bafana Bafana which we won 4-2 on penalties. I only gave an inspirational message on February 6th that “Like It happened in 2013, my birthday will bring another luck to the Super Eagles. I have this feeling in me that the Eagles will be Super against the Elephants of Ivory Coast come this Sunday,” he said.
“Yes, the Ivorians will be playing infront of thousands of their fans but it doesn’t scare us because the Nigeria Football Supporters Club under my leadership has mobilsed large number of our members from across Africa and other places and they are already in Abidjan ready to drum support and cheer Super Eagles to victory.
“For sure it’s not going to be an easy match but with the quality of players in the Super Eagles’ I feel they have all it takes to be champions. With due respect the Elephants are a very strong side with great players just like the Super Eagles and, they have proven that in the knockout stage but the Eagles have beaten them in the group and will beat them again.
“As I have said earlier, members of the Nigeria Football Supporters Club will storm the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan in large numbers on Sunday to sing, drum and cheer Super Eagles to victory. However, I’m calling on Nigerians home and abroad to pray for the success of the Eagles. With God everything is possible,” Rev Ikpea added