Nigeria’s Vice-President, Kashim Shettima, has commended the Super Eagles players despite their defeat to Cote d’Ivoire in the final of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.
The Super Eagles faced a tough challenge in a closely contested encounter at the Alassane Quattara Stadium in Ebimpe, Abidjan, ultimately succumbing to a 2-1 defeat against the hosts.
William Troost-Ekong provided hope for the Super Eagles by securing the lead in the first half. However, the hosts staged a remarkable comeback, securing victory through goals from Franck Kessie and Sebastien Haller.
Addressing the players and officials after the game, Nigeria’s Vice-President delivered a message of encouragement, emphasizing the importance of resilience and determination in the face of defeat.
“We have tried our best, and be rest assured that there is always the next time. You must have it in mind that the tragedy of life lies not in reaching your goal but in not having a goal to reach,” Shettima stated.
“It is not a calamity to die with a dream, but it is a calamity when you don’t have a dream at all.”
Acknowledging the disappointment of falling short, Shettima urged the team to remain optimistic and focused on future opportunities.
“A lot of countries, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, and others exited the competition weeks ago. We have come this far; be rest assured that we will come back stronger in the next edition,” he affirmed.
Expressing pride in the team’s achievements, Shettima highlighted the Super Eagles’ role in fostering national unity and solidarity.
“You don’t have to be sad. We have every reason to celebrate. The nation is proud of you. You are the source of our unity,” he expressed.
Conveying regards from President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Shettima assured the players of the nation’s unwavering support and recognition of their efforts.
“Honestly, we are very proud of you, and the nation will adequately compensate you for your sacrifice,” he assured.
In conclusion, Shettima emphasized the importance of learning from mistakes and looking forward to future opportunities, urging the team to remain united and resilient.
“There is no cause for you to be remorseful or sad. There is no reason for us to be sad or remorseful,” he concluded, rallying the team to maintain their spirits and focus on the journey ahead.