Football411 gathered that the Nigerian ambassador to Libya, Kabiru Musa paid a visit to the team during their training session at the Benina stadium in Benghazi.
The Pride of Rivers flew into Benghazi on Monday and were elated with the visit of the Ambassador who was present throughout the training session that last an hour.
Ambassador Kabiru Musa, who was accompanied by some consular staff of the Nigerian embassy and members of the Nigerian community in Tripoli and Benghazi was received by the General Manager of Rivers United Chief Dr Okey Kpalukwu JP, the team’s secretary Ahmed Abdulrahman and Technical Manager Stanley Eguma.
The Ambassador charged Rivers United to go all out and make Nigeria proud not minding the mind games from their opponent while reiterating that himself and the Nigerian community in Libya are fully behind the team.
“Let me congratulate you for the victory you had in Nigeria and then just give you words of encouragement. That’s why i am here to give you maximum support and to mobilize the Nigerian community. I will be here with you and as well to cheer you up.”
The Nigerian ambassador to Libya noted;
“I was told of the incident that happened yesterday, so what I will tell you is what your coach has been telling you about mind games. It doesn’t happen only in the pitch. Mind games can be played so that you loose your focus but I know with the resilience we have, you are not going to allow it to weigh you down. You should not be discouraged, you should just remain focused and make sure the performance you did in Nigeria, you do it better here.”
Ambassador Kabiru added that;
“Since the tournament began, there is no Nigerian team that has won. It’s only Dolphins that became runner up in 2005, so please we want you to progress, we want you to lift the trophy. You in your own right are also diplomats because there is what is called sports diplomacy and football is beyond what you think. It is a tool for friendship, a tool for integrating societies, a tool that we use to make peace so we are here to make friendship, we here to promote our country, we are here to protect the interest of our country. So please remain focused and play to win“
General Manager Dr Okey Kpalukwu JP in his welcome speech thanked the Ambassador for making out time to come in person to show support while reassuring him of victory despite the hostile reception accorded the team since their arrival in Libya.
Captain of the side Festus Austin who spoke on behalf of the players was fully of appreciation to the Ambassador stating that his visit and that of our brothers is a moral booster that will motivate the team to victory.
“I just want to thank you on behalf of the team. We are very happy to have you here. Seeing you have boosted our moral because we have seen our brothers. Yesterday (Monday) when we came and we saw some fans that attacked us, but today we have seen the faces that have given us strength. I want to assure you that we are going to make you proud and our number one supporter in Nigeria, the Executive Governor of Rivers State, His Excellency Governor Nyesom Wike who have been doing so well for us, we will not disappoint him and the entire Nigeria.”
Rivers United take a 5-0 lead to the Benina stadium on Wednesday as the confront El Nasr Benghazi in the 2nd leg of the CAF Confederation’s Cup additional playoff round tie with kickoff scheduled for 8pm (Nigerian time), 9pm (Libyan time)