Former Super Eagles coach, Clemens Westehorf has restated his love for Nigeria, as the soccer tactician from Holland declared that his second fatherland is the country where he made his biggest marks as a national team handler, back in 1994.
Westerhof, who had been tagged ‘Dutch-Gerian’ during his days with the Eagles, with which he won the Africa Cup of Nations in 1994 and took the team to their first World Cup appearance same year in USA, restated his devotion to Nigeria after finally getting a house from the country.
This came on Monday, when the Federal Government fulfilled a 25-year standing pledge of a house in Abuja to Westerhof, as due reward for his exploits with the Eagles in 1994.
Westerhof got his reward at a ceremony inside the conference room of the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing in Abuja, at which the minister, Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) said further proof was revealed that the current administration was “committed to putting right the wrongs of yesterday and redressing all forms of yesterday’s injustice.”
Fashola, a former governor of Lagos State and renowned football fan, hailed Westerhof for serving the Eagles with distinction and for largely highlighting the values of football for the country, then apologised on behalf of Nigeria that the pledge took 25 years to redeem.
Westerhof said in his acceptance speech: “I am overjoyed. I want to thank the Nigerian Government for this, and I want to assure you that you will now see more of me in Nigeria.
“Nigeria is my second fatherland, and I am proud of what we were able to achieve with the players in those years.
“They were disciplined, dedicated and determined to lift Nigeria high, and we took Nigeria from 79th position to 5th in the world.
“I am thankful. However, I feel sad that some of my players have left us. May their souls rest in peace.”