Amidst threats directed towards Super Eagles impressive goalkeeper Standley Nwabali by a section of ignorant South African fans, Premier Soccer League (PSL) side Chippa United have thrown their weight behind their goalkeeper assuring him of their prayers and support ahead of the final clash against Cote d Ivoire on Sunday.
Nwabali was the hero for the Super Eagles as he made two saves during the penalty shootout in the semi-final game with South Africa on Wednesday.
The Eagles won 4-2 in the shootout after 120 minutes of football ended 1-1, with Nwabali named Man of the Match.
In a show of support Chippa United’s chairman Siviwe Mpengesi, in a statement released, praised Nwabali for his heroics in goal against South Africa.
Mpengesi hailed the Nigerian first choice for being a good ambassador of Chippa United.
“The club wishes to extend its congratulations to Stanley Nwabali for his extraordinary achievement in reaching the Afcon final and for also earning the man of the match award,” the chairman said in the statement posted on Chippa United’s X handle.
“Our support for you remains steadfast. You have represented the Chippa United brand admirably and we are immensely proud of you. We will be rooting for you in the final against Ivory Coast on Sunday.”
Prior to Wednesday’s semi-final, Mpengesi had come under criticism for openly expressing his support for Nigeria over his country.
This led to many South Africans questioning Mpengesi’s patriotism, especially given the fact that his team is mainly funded by taxpayers’ money through the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality.
However, he made it clear he was not bothered by the backlash he was subjected to for standing with Nigeria even when the Bafana Bafana captain and skipper Ronwen Williams is from the Eastern Cape as well. Mpengesi has reportedly been educating some of his countrymen that football is healthy competition and not war, insisting that a team who loses today does not mean it cannot win tomorrow.