Gov. Umaru Al-Makura has offered plots of land and N10 million cash to the management and players of Nasarawa United Football Club for reaching the Federation Cup Finals for the first time.
The governor announced the donation in Lafia on Tuesday night at a brief ceremony held in honour of the team for their exploits in the 2016 Federation Cup competition.
The team lost the final match to FC Ifeanyi Ubah via penalty shootout.
Al-Makura noted that though the team failed to lift the trophy, the players did not disappoint their supporters and the government because they fought hard till the end only losing via penalty shootout.
“Our meeting here is not to agonise or feel sad but to show gladness and celebrate the people who made Nasarawa state proud.
“The charges and attempts they made during the game was enough to console us that they played a great game,” he said.
The governor pointed out that the despite the team’s loss to FC Ifeanyi Ubah, every spectator at the stadium including him felt that Nasarawa United played better and deserved to win.
“But when it gets to penalty shootout, the better team never wins.
“As you well know when it comes to penalty shootout, you can never tell who will carry the day but I want to assure you that cup or no cup, you are our heroes.
“We must show that Nasarawa state is happy with you,” the governor added.
Al-Makura said the team’s gallant efforts and the fact that it reached the final of the coveted federation cup competition for the first time prompted his administration to show gratitude by rewarding every player and management of the team.
He said that his administration corporate support to the team includes payment of all outstanding allowances for both players and officials and completion of the newly renovated Lafia City stadium before the end of December 2016.
The governor offered each player and the managers of the team 500 square metres plot of land in Karu local government area of the state and a financial bonus of about N10 million to the team.
“For your valiant effort, we have decided to allocate each one of you a plot of land close by Karu International Market.
“The road leading to the area will be named Nasarawa United road and it is just 300 metres before the Keffi-Abuja main road,” he said.
Mr Isaac Danladi, Chairman, Nasarawa United FC expressed delight for the support and appreciation shown by the government and supporters of the club despite the fact that they failed to lift the converted trophy.
“I am highly honoured. We were in Lagos, we saw but even though we did not conquer. His excellency has decided to appreciate us,” he said.
Danladi told the governor that despite the loss, reaching the final was a step in progress. He assured the governor that team would lift the trophy and win the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) competition before the end of his tenure in 2019.
“Two years ago we reached the quarter finals, last year we were eliminated in the semi finals and qualified for the CAF Confederation cup.
“This year, we lost in the finals. I want to assure you sir that before you leave office, we shall bring the trophy to you,” Danladi said.
Speaker, Nasarawa State House of Assembly Balarebe Abdullahi praised the boys for their performance.
He said promised that the assembly would enact legislation to encourgage the sports development in the state.