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For missing a penalty kick at the WYC: Warri Soccer Fans Attacked My Father ~ Gift Atilewa

Posted by By Isaac Olamikan in Yenagoa on 2005/08/04 | Views: 326 |

For missing a penalty kick at the WYC: Warri Soccer Fans Attacked My Father ~ Gift Atilewa


Bayelsa United Attacker, Gift Atilewa will forever remember two days as been memorable to him.

Bayelsa United Attacker, Gift Atilewa will forever remember two days as been memorable to him.

The first day was when his club side engaged Sunshine Stars of Akure in a Pro-League cracker at the Yenagoa Sports Complex.

As it is usual with him, he gave a very scintillating display to ensure that his side secured the three points at stake.

Unknown to him, one of the people watching his extraordinary performance was the Fly Eagles Coach, Sampson Siasia who not only took note of his good performance, but invited him to the team's camp for screening.

Gift ended up being among the few considered worthy enough to wear the green shirt of the national team at the World Youth Championship, WYC, in Holland.

"In Bayelsa United's game against the Sunshine Stars of Akure I played my normal robust game to ensure that we get the maximum points at stake, thereby securing promotion to the premier league next season. I never knew that Coach Sampson Siasia of the Flying Eagles was watching the game and was very interested in me.

"I was one of the several youths that were called to the team's camp. That I ended up been one of the few that got the final nod of the coach is a thing that showed his confidence in my game", he recalled.

Another memorable day in Gift's life was when Nigeria engaged host Holland in a quarter-final match at the recently concluded World Youth Championship.

At full and extra time, the game had been deadlocked at a goal apiece. Then came the mandatory penalty kicks to determine which of the two high-flying teams goes into the semi-finals of the championship.

Gift was one of those Coach Sampson Siasia had confidence in to slot in their kicks and give Nigeria the day. Though Nigeria eventually won the match, Gift was one of those that could not score their kicks.

Soccer crazy fans in Warri who were glued to their TV sets watching the proceedings did not take the matter lightly.

They took a stern stand to vent their anger at Gift's sacrilegious act on his dad who resides in one of the popular areas of the town.

In a twinkle of an eye they had gotten to the house and started molesting his father. What saved the old man from further molestation was the fact that Nigeria eventually won the game.

After the silver winning effort of the Flying Eagles, Gift got to Warri and quickly made peace with the fans whom he bought drinks.
The ex-Delta United player sees a very bleak future for the African entries to the World Youth contests.

"If there was any team that should have won the trophy from Africa, it was our squad. That we couldn't shows that Africa may never win it. The politics of the game will never favour us", he predicted.

He attributed the success achieved by the Eagles to the dedication of Coach Sampson Siasia whom he gave kudos.

"He used his money to buy us a new set of boots when the ones we were given for the championship would not size us", he revealed.

Like some of his mates to the World Youth Championship, a lot of offers have been streaming in from European teams but his manager who is coordinating things is taking his time so as not to sign him into slavery.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.