KANU MATCH: CHUKWU, KESHI CLASH IN LAGOS
former Super Eagles coach, Christian Chukwu
Two former internationals, Christian Chukwu and Stephen Keshi, will lead their teams at the Nwankwo Kanu Testimonial Football Match on Saturday at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.
Chukwu, captain of the 1980 Nations Cup winning squad will coach the Super Eagles' All-Stars against Keshi's Friends of Kanu, which will comprise foreign players invited from outside Nigeria.
Keshi was captain of the squad that lifted the only African Cup of Nations title that Nigeria have won outside their shores in Tunisia in 1994 and qualified Togo for the 2006 FIFA World Cup finals in Germany.
Organisers of the testimonial match have indeed found fitting coaches for a game in honour of the most decorated footballer to have come out of Nigeria.
Chukwu will be assisted on the home team's bench by two other ex-internationals Ganiyu Salami and Solomon Ogbeide. Keshi will be supported by Joe Erico and Monday Odigie.
Salami and Erico have been assistant coaches of the senior national team at different times. Erico was Nigeria's number one goalkeeper for many years, including being in goal at the 1976 African Cup of Nations in Ethiopia.
Among the big names coming from outside the country, who will play as Friends of Kanu, are Ghana's Sammy Kuffour, Michael Essien, Stephen Appiah and Asamoah Gyan, Senegal's El Hadj Diouf, Tony Silva and Khalilou Fadiga, South Africa's Lucas Radebe and Aaron Mokoena, Cameroon's Rigobert Song and DR Congo's Lomana Tresor Lua Lua.
Others are Kanu's former teammate at West Bromwich Albion, Hermann Hreidarsson, Algeria's Madjid Bougherra and Togo Captain Emmanuel Adebayor. Zambia's Kalusha Bwalya, the 1988 African Footballer of the Year, now President of Zambia FA and a current member of the CAF Executive Committee is also expected to be in Lagos.
Super Eagles coach Samson Siasia will be among the Eagles' All-Stars alongside Mutiu Adepoju, Augustine Eguavoen and Daniel Amokachi.
The Nigeria Football Federation has also appointed Dr. Ahmed Tijjani Yusuf, a two-time Secretary of the federation, as Match Commissioner for the encounter.
Yusuf, who retired as a Deputy Director in the National Sports Commission and is now a lecturer at the Bayero University, Kano, was Secretary-General when Nigeria qualified for the 1994 FIFA World Cup finals and the 2002 FIFA World Cup finals. He was also at one time Director of the National Institute for Sports, Lagos.