The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has rewarded players of Nigeria Professional Football League champions Rivers United with $20,000 each and a two-week visit to Madrid, Spain for their pre-season training, according to Punch NG.
Players, coaches and management of the club were also conferred with the state’s ‘Governor Medal Service Award.’
Wike, during a reception at the Government House, Port Harcourt on Thursday, acknowledged the team’s sacrifice, determination and hard work throughout the 2021/22 season.
This was contained in a statement issued by Kelvin Ebiri, media aide to the Governor.
“Each of you will go home with $20,000. For me, you deserve more than that, but because of the economy. If not, you deserve more than this.
“You have done well, and let me tell you if you qualify in the group stage of this CAF (Confederation of African Football) competition, we will double it for you,” the statement quoted the Governor as saying.
Meanwhile, Wike has directed the state’s Commissioner of Sports, Chris Green, to arrange for a two-week training session for Rivers United in Madrid.
The Governor explained that the government and people of Rivers were delighted that the club won the coveted NPFL trophy.
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“I am not surprised because I saw your dedication and commitment and I knew that he who works hard, God will always give him the support to emerge victorious,” Wike added.
The Governor also urged the players to start preparing for the CAF Champions League next season.
“You need to be prepared psychologically in order to face other competitors. We are talking about Africa, not West Africa. So, you have such a huge task.
“You must be prepared in order to achieve. And so, on our own as government, we must do everything humanly possible to encourage you,” he stated
The Rivers State Commissioner of Sports, Chris Green, explained that Rivers United did not only win league season in style, they broke all the records.
Green, who attributed the team’s victory to the governor’s immense support, said the club had the first and third highest goal scorers, best coach and goalkeeper in the league.
“Rivers United conceded the least number of goals in the league. Rivers United won the highest number of victories outside Port Harcourt, that is in away games.
“All are the handiwork of Stanley Eguma (coach), these golden boys and your direction and mentorship. Your excellency, we want to let you know that this is just the beginning. Our best is yet to come.”