Nigeria honours football team with cash, land rewards

Last Updated: Wed, Feb 13, 2013 13:10 hrs

Abuja (Nigeria), Feb 13 (IANS) Nigeria's victorious football team was splashed with national honours, including plots of land and cash for winning the African Cup of Nations (AFCON).

President Goodluck Jonathan announced the rain of gifts and honour Tuesday night when he received the players and the coaching crew at a special dinner at the State House, reports Xinhua.

The 23 players were given the honour of Member of the Order of the Niger (MON).

The chief coach Stephen Keshi got Commander of the Order of the Niger.

The president also announced a cash gift of 10 million naira ($62,500) to the chief coach and 5 million naira ($31,250) to each of the players and also plots of land in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) for the entire team.

The Nigerian leader commended the players and coaching crew for a job well done.

There were also cash gift for the team from some leading industrialists in the country.

"This team has recorded an awesome achievement for which they deserved praises, honour and gifts. They have put a gold smile on our faces and they have made a strong statement that Nigeria is a land of opportunities and achievable dreams," Jonathan said, while assuring that his government would continue to give sports its pride of place.

The Nigerian leader further charged the team members to make sure they qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Nigeria defeated Burkina Faso 1-0 Sunday night, at the finals of this year's AFCON in South Africa. The team clinched the winner in the 40th minute when winger Sunday Mba flicked the ball over defender Mohamed Koffi to send it into the net.

It is the third time that Nigeria have won the tournament. The previous two wins were in 1980 and 1994.

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