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Sports Stakeholders react to Amokachi’s appointment as Buhari’s SA

NEWSMAN, Abuja – The appointment of former Super Eagles forward, Daniel Amokachi, as Special Assistant on Sports to President Muhammadu Buhari has continued to generate mixed reactions from sports stakeholders.

A statement issued by the media office to the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, on Thursday said the appointment of Amokachi has since taken effect.

The press release confirmed that a letter of appointment dated August 17 and signed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, has since been handed to the former Everton and Besiktas forward.

 “I am pleased to inform you that Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, has approved your appointment as Special Assistant on Sports. The appointment takes effect from August 11, 2020. Amokachi is expected to advise the President on all sports matters,” the statement said.

Amokachi, 47, began his career with Ranchers Bees Football Club of Kaduna, and played for Club Brugge of Belgium, Besiktas of Turkey, Everton of England and Colorado Rapids.

He was part of the 1994 squad that won the Africa Cup of Nations in Tunisia and also went on to the World Cup in the United States the same year. Two years later, Amokachi helped Nigeria to the historical gold medal in the football event of the Atlanta 1996 Olympics.

An FA Cup winner with Everton (1995), the ex-Club Brugge striker also holds the distinction of the first footballer-ever to score in the new-format UEFA Champions League in 1992.

Since quitting active football, Amokachi has featured as a pundit and also gone into coaching, PremiumTimes reported. He has coached the U-23 National Team, served as assistant coach of the Super Eagles and coached a handful of Nigerian and foreign clubs also.

Buhari had on February 13, appointed Amokachi as the country’s Football Ambassador.

Meanwhile, Sports stakeholders like Mutiu Adepoju, Amokachi’s former national teammate have described the appointment as good news for ex-footballers.

“This is very positive news and I congratulate Amokachi for the appointment. This is good for him as an individual and for us,This is why we’ve always called on footballers to add education to their profession, so we can have more opportunities after football.” Adepoju told The PUNCH.

Former Nigeria Taekwondo Federation president, George Ashiru, also applauded the appointment.

“I see it as a positive move and a symbolic one by the President; it encourages ex-internationals that even after they retire, the country still finds them useful because of their experience. This will send a message to the youths that if they achieve something for the country, they will not be forgotten.”

But sports journalist and administrator, Godwin Enakhena, questioned the appointment, saying it  was not in the best interest of sports development in the country.

“For me, it’s a waste of time. This is not what we need to take sports out of where it is right now. If Amokachi is good enough, let him be appointed as the sports minister. Don’t give a portfolio where he doesn’t have any control,” Enakhena said.

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