Akwa chief hails gov

The Punch - - SPORTS - La Liga Tues­day

AKWA United have praised Akwa Ibom State Gover­nor Udom Em­manuel for the de­ci­sion to of­fer cit­i­zens of the state a free ac­cess to the Godswill Ak­pabio Sta­dium for Wed­nes­day’s CAF Con­fed­er­a­tion clash against Su­danese side Al Hi­lal.

Peren­nial CAF Champions league cam­paign­ers Al Hi­lal won the first leg in khar­toum 2-0, and Akwa will have to score three goals to ad­vance.

Chair­man of the Premier League club Paul Bassey told re­porters af­ter the team’s train­ing ses­sion on Mon­day they are de­lighted over the de­vel­op­ment.

Bassey said, “The de­ci­sion to open the gates free of charge is borne out of gov­ern­ment’s de­sire to mo­bilise max­i­mum sup­port for the team in the cru­cial en­counter that will de­ter­mine the team’s qual­i­fi­ca­tion for the group stage of the CAF Con­fed­er­a­tion Cup.

“I know it is a wel­come de­vel­op­ment. Wed­nes­day is mid­week, a lot of fans will ei­ther be in their of­fices, mar­ket­places and other busi­ness con­cerns that may punc­tu­ate their de­sire to come and cheer us to vic­tory, but with this mag­na­nim­ity from the gover­nor, we ex­pect a near ca­pac­ity crowd es­pe­cially from school­child­ren who are on hol­i­day.

“Gover­nor Udom has been very sup­port­ive fi­nan­cially and morally and the only way we can re­pay his in­ter­est in the team is to keep a smile on his face with a vic­tory on Wed­nes­day.”

The FIFA and CAF match com­mis­sioner blamed the Ai­teo Cup champions’ poor show­ing in the do­mes­tic league on their con­ti­nen­tal cam­paign.

He said, “That is the price you pay for go­ing con­ti­nen­tal. Di­vided at­ten­tion, tight sched­ule and fa­tigue.”

W’ham 1

Stoke 1

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