Nigeria’s vice-president Kashim Shettima has praised Super Eagles players despite their defeat to Cote d’Ivoire in the final of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.
The Super Eagles lost 2-1 to the hosts in a keenly contested encounter at the Alassanne Quattara Stadium, Ebimpe, Abidjan.
William Troost-Ekong gave the Super Eagles the lead in the first half.
The hosts however rallied to win the game through goals from Franck Kessie and Sebastien Haller.
“We have tried our best and be rest assured that there is always the next time. You must have it in mind that the tragedy of life lies in not reaching your goal but the tragedy lies in not having a gola to reach,” the country’s number two citizen stated while addressing the players and their officials after the game.
“It is not a calamity to die with a dream, but it is a calamity when you don’t have a dream at all.
“A lot of countries, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and others exited the competition, two, three weeks ago.
“We have come this far, be rest assured that, we will come back stronger in the next edition. There is cause for celebration. We are second best in Africa.
“You don’t have to be sad. We have every reason to celebrate. The nation is proud of you. You are the source of our unity. It is only when the Super Eagles are playing that we don’t talk about race or religion. You always unite the nation.
“The nation is in grief, but the nation is in solidarity with you. Be rest assured that your name will be written in gold in the history of football in Nigeria.
“I convey to you, the wish and regards from president Bola Ahmed Tinubu. There is no need for you to be sad. On Wednesday, we were celebrating and we came so close today. We lost the game within just 15 minutes.
“That’s what football is all about. We must understand that whichever way the pendulum swings, the trophy is still for Africa. It is the Africa Cup of unity and it came to West Africa.
“There is every cause for us to celebrate and rejoice. There is every cause for us to unite. Look at our mistakes and correct it in the next edition.
“Honestly, we are very proud of you and the nation will adequately compensate you for your sacrifice. You came close, there is no cause for you to be remorseful or sad. There is no reason for us to be sad or remorseful.”
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