The atmosphere around Port Harcourt, the famed Garden City of Nigeria is at the moment brimming with fun and excitement. Many soccer lovers, pundits and football afficionadoes are counting down to May 27, the day the much hyped and long awaited “Joseph Yobo Centenary Game will happen.
The buzz and frenzy around the city keeps increasing as the D – day draws nearer interestingly, the soccer loving Governor of Rivers State, Ezenwo Nyesom Wike has already promised that “everyone coming to the Rivers capital is going to leave with a lasting memory.”
The event which is planned to mark the retirement (from active football) of the former Super Eagles capitan will hold inside the mainbowl of Adokiye Amiesimaka International Stadium in Port Harcourt.
Yobo, who won 100 caps for the senior team, retired from International football after the 2014 World cup in Brazil. The Yobo testimonial match promises to be a five star event indeed. To grace the occasion is a strong cast of superstar footballers across Africa and Europe including Samuel Eto’o, John Terry, Didier Drogba, Dede and Jordan Ayew, Wayne Rooney and Djibrin Cisse. Yobo’s former team mate at Everton FC, Steven Pienaar, Kanu Nwankwo, Austin Okocha and many other retired Super Eagles stars have also indicated their interest to honour the former Eagles Captain.
Commenting on the preparations for the event, Waidi Akanni, former Super Eagles player, who is the coordinator of the centenary game, said: “We are really excited by the confirmation of John Terry for the Yobo Centenary Game in Port Harcourt. He’s one big player that is very popular here in the country because of England and Chelsea’s large fan base in Nigeria.”
The Centenary Game is bankdrolled majorly by Rivers State Government. The Joseph Yobo Foundation in partnership with the Rivers State Government already put structures in place to celebrate a worthy son of the state. Dr Ifeanyi Patrick Ubah, Chairman of Capital Oil Plc has also endorsed the Yobo Centenary Game and promised to use two of his companies namely, FC Ifeanyi Ubah and the Authority Newspaper as brand ambassadors of the event.
The beautiful memory of Dr Ubah’s support to past testimonials for the likes of Taribo West, Austin Okocha and Nwankwo Kanu, is still fresh in the minds of many Nigerians. Thus, his fatherly role remains significant in Nigerian sports. According to Waidi Akanni, Dr Ubah has proven to football loving Nigerians that he is truly a man of the people.