Forty years after winning the most coveted football trophy on the continent for the first time, Youth and Sports Development Minister Mr. Sunday Dare has lavished encomiums on the victorious 1980 Green Eagles but added that the Federal Government has postponed the planned celebration for the heroes.
Exactly 40 years ago on March 22,1980, the Eagles, led by Christian Chukwu, defeated Algeria 3-0 in Lagos to win Nigeria’s first Africa Cup of Nations title.
Speaking on the 40 years anniversary of the victory, Dare said, “We salute the gallantry of the victorious 1980 Nations Cup-winning Green Eagles for bringing glory and honour to our fatherland.
“Their feat opened a new chapter in the history of Nigerian football and inspired generations of younger players to excel on the field of play. They not only arrested the attention of world football, they opened opportunities for others to pursue professional football.
A big congratulations to all members of that great team for winning the Nations Cup for the first time on home soil. Their achievement brings fond memories to us about the never-say-die Nigerian spirit.”
Dare said the government had planned to celebrate the 40-year anniversary by honouring members of the epoch-making team, but this was put on hold due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 which led to the suspension of all sporting activities.
“We were planning to celebrate this anniversary in style in honour of these great patriots, but due to the Covid-19 scourge, we had to put it on hold. Once the situation returns to normal, we shall celebrate these worthy Nigerians. We shall continue to honour those that have won laurels for our great country. Their immense sacrifice canot be forgotten.”