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Westerhof Receives House Gift From FG 25 Years After AFCON 1994 Success

Westerhof Receives House Gift From FG 25 Years After AFCON 1994 Success

The Federal Government on Monday fulfilled a 25 -year pledge to former Technical Adviser of the Super Eagles, Clemens Westerhof.

At an impressive ceremony inside the conference room of the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Abuja, the Honourable Minister, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) said the occasion was a further proof that the Buhari administration was “committed to putting right the wrongs of yesterday and redressing all forms of yesterday’s injustice”.

Westerhof, a Dutchman, was head coach of the Super Eagles’ Class of 1994 – appropriately –styled Golden Generation – that won Nigeria’s first –ever FIFA World Cup ticket, won Nigeria’s first Africa Cup of Nations title on away ground and reached the Round of 16 at the FIFA World Cup in USA.

Fashola, himself a first-grade football enthusiast, eulogized the virtues of football as a “great unifier, which does not bow to ethnic, religious or quota system considerations,” and hailed Westerhof for serving his time with Nigeria’s senior team with distinction, while apologizing on behalf of Nigeria that the pledge took 25 years to redeem.

“Mr. Westerhof ended our long –time search for a FIFA World Cup ticket, and afterwards went on to lead the team to Africa Cup of Nations glory. As a nation, we made promises, but there was no follow-up,” Fashola told nff. com.

“I want the NFF to document those members of the squad that have not received their houses in the FCT as promised, and as soon as we receive this, we will respond positively. I was made aware that the promises had not been fulfilled through a letter by the assistant coach, Mr. Johannes Bonfrere, and we arranged for him to get his own in December 2017.

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“Six months later, at the FIFA World Cup in Russia, a prominent journalist, Mr. Onochie Anibeze, brought it to my notice that the head coach, Mr. Westerhof was yet to receive his own house. We immediately initiated the process which has culminated in today’s event.”

Earlier, the Director of Public Building and Housing Development, Dickson Onoja had narrated the exploits of the Super Eagles’ Class of 1994, and how then military Head of State, Sani Abacha, hosted the team to a reception in Abuja after the AFCON triumph in Tunisia and promised each member of the team a house in Abuja.

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Youth and Sports Minister, Barr. Solomon Dalung, who was represented by the Director of Federations and Elite Athletes Department, Mrs Tayo Oreweme, applauded the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing for fulfilling the pledge and referred to President Muhammadu Buhari’s 2015 fulfilment of his pledge to the world -conquering Golden Eaglets of 1985 (when he was military Head of State).

The 2nd Vice President of NFF, Mallam Shehu Dikko, who represented NFF President Amaju Pinnick at the occasion, praised the initiative of Mr. Fashola and his ministry, saying the redemption of the pledge was a positive sign to footballers and other sportsmen and women that promises would always be fulfilled, no matter how long it took.

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“At the last NFF Football Awards in Lagos on 1st April, we honoured specially this Class of 1994 Super Eagles. Those of them that are still alive and in the country were brought to the event and celebrated. We will compile a list of those who have not received their houses and revert back to the Ministry.”

An elated Westerhof, who flew into Nigeria from The Netherlands on Sunday night, said: “I am overjoyed. I want to thank the Nigerian Government for this, and I want to assure you that you will now see more of me in Nigeria.

“Nigeria is my second fatherland, and I am proud of what we were able to achieve with the players in those years. They were disciplined, dedicated and determined to lift Nigeria high, and we took Nigeria from 79th position to 5th in the world. I am thankful. However, I feel sad that some of my players have left us. May their souls rest in peace.”

Minister Fashola afterwards presented the letter of allocation of the house to Westerhof.

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COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 13
  • Tola 1 year ago

    Congratulations Mr westerhof, we Nigerians really appreciate the joy your team gave us back then. Enjoy your the fruit of your labour. And to Mr Fashola big-ups for the redemption of the promise. God bless Nigeria.

     
  • Omo9ja 1 year ago

    Wow. I’m so happy for you Mr. Westerhof. You deserve it. A man of his words. A man who believed in himself. A coach who doesn’t allowed NFF and politics to tarnished his reputation. Congratulations coach.

    My people, I am begging you all to go on YouTube and watch Mr. Westerhof interview part1 and part2.

    You will agree with me that we still have a long way to go in terms of football. Sorry, we don’t have a coach yet. If truly you watched these two video clips and you can’t see anything wrong with the present team then, you don’t love your Country.

    This man explained everything about the Super Eagles 94 class, NFF and his players.

    For sure, NFF can not produced us such a great coach like this man anymore because he doesn’t take nonsense. All they are hiring now is sit there and watch.

    That is the reason why we are seeing Aiyegbogun, Akpeyi, Agbim and so on in our national teams of nowadays.

    A coach who told his captain a.k.a the big boss himself that you are injured and you won’t play at the final against Zambia in 94 AFCON. The best coach ever that Nigeria discovered. What a coach. God bless you coach Westerhof. I love you too much. God bless Nigeria!!!

     
    • Oakfield 1 year ago

      What makes him different from our own, Keshi? Keshi won the nations cup and qualified Nigeria to the world cup and reached the round of 16 with a team made up of locally based players. In fact but with due respect to Mr Weterhorf, Keshi achieved same feat as him, so, I don’t really understand this unnecessary hype. Is it bcos he’s White????

       
      • BigD 1 year ago

        It was because it was unprecedented, never happened before, the first time ever. Nigeria had never qualified for the world cup before 1994, so it was indeed a big deal then. And to go on to play the way we did after winning our second AFCOn title, the first time on foreign soil, that was also a big deal at the time.

        Not to belittle Keshi’s achievements, but by his time we had come to expect that we will qualify for the world cup (we qualified for 3 world cup finals before Keshi took us there in 2014, only failing to qualify once) and we win Afcon once every 10 to 15 years.

        But this was the genesis of a massive step that Nigeria had taken.

        Not about colour at all. The promise was made 25 years ago and fulfilled very late.

         
        • Oakfield 1 year ago

          Spot on,good analysis…

           
        • Omo9ja 1 year ago

          @BigD, thank you. Well spoken my man. I can see now that you among the 1% Nigerians that I said they were patriotics. We just have to honest with ourselves.

          let’s call a spade a spade, Mr. Westerhof deserves an accolade.
          God bless Mr. Westerhof.
          God bless my people.
          God bless Nigeria!!!

           
      • Ashy Slashy 1 year ago

        I love this point. Please, tell them. What did Westerhof achieve that Keshi didn’t?

         
  • Dears,
    Suleiman Mohammed played for a german club yesterday for union berlin and defeated stutgart for promotion into bundesliga.
    Is this guy a Nigeria or not?
    Complete sport help on this or someone else.

     
  • Edoman. 1 year ago

    Where was the minister of sport in all of these.

    I would like to call Dolung, minister of “enemy of sport”.

     
  • Pompei 1 year ago

    I’m happy that Westerhof finally got his promised house. But I’m deeply ashamed and troubled that he had to wait a quarter of a century for it! Anyway, half bread is better than none! Thanks to the authorities for a promise kept. Next, please give the rest of the players who have not yet been settled their due.

     
  • Omo9ja 1 year ago

    If a child doesn’t know right from left, you call the child and show it to the child, this is right and this is left.

    Nonetheless, is it possible to compare a landlord to a chieftenant? Just a question ni o?

    Mr. Westerhof achieved a lot for Nigeria. He brought our name on the road map. He built a solid, sound and indomitable team that was beaten their opponents for fun during his days.

    Mr. Westerhof deserves a class from Nigerians. Can we compared Mr. Kashi’s team this Mr. Westerhof’s team?

    Since our first ever World cup in USA, which World cup did we enjoyed most?
    Be honest my people.

    Maybe Oga Rohr’s team that almost killed half a million of Nigerians during the last world in Russia is the best of all abi?

    I’m not talking about colour here but I do really believed in what brain can do maybe white or black coach, it doesn’t matter.

    We should all remember that this man started from the scratch? For me, he deserves a loud ovation.

    Kudos to you coach Westerhof. If one quarter of Nigerians doesn’t appreciate you, I do. Ire o. God bless Nigeria!!!