AFCON 2023: Osun FA Urges Governor Adeleke to Recognize Super Eagles’ Goalkeeper Trainer, Olatunji Baruwa and Others

Following Nigeria’s African Cup of Nations exploits at the 34th edition in Ivory Coast, the Osun State Government has been urged to honour Super Eagles rock-solid defender Semi Ajayi (MON) and Super Eagles’ Goalkeeper Trainer Olatunji Baruwa (MON).

The Osun State born duo helped Nigeria to claim the silver medal after losing 2-1 to host Ivory Coast in the AFCON final at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan on February 11.

Super Eagles' Goalkeeper Trainer, Olatunji Baruwa

Sola Fanawopo, Osun State Football Association egg-head made the passionate appeal to the State number one Sports Fan- Governor His Excellency Senator Ademola Adeleke, who passion for football and reward for sporting excellence knows no bounds.

“Congratulations to both Ajayi and Baruwa for making Nigerians and indeed indigenes of Osun State proud, and not forgetting the state community (Ejigbo) in Abidjan.

“Amazing for the duo who also received national awards (Member of the Order of Niger- MON) from President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, plus other goodies.

“The Osun State football family is calling on our Governor to extend it’s kind gesture by celebrating both Ajayi and Baruwa.

“Ajayi was rock-solid, partnering Troost-Ekong in Nigeria’s defence and scored a superb goal against Cameroon, which ended up been ruled out by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR). That effort galvanized the team and at the end the Super Eagles brushed aside the Indomitable Lions 2-0.

“Also, as Nigerians celebrated Stanley Nwabali, who was agurably one of Super Eagles best players enroute the final, credit must go to his trainer, Baruwa whose daily goalkeeping routine with him (Nwabali), had the Chippa United shot stopper bring out his best during Super Eagles matches with good composure and breath taking saves, which kept fans on the edge of their seats at the stadium, viewing centers and living rooms.

“Baruwa’s halftime pep talks with Nwabali, spurred him to win the Man of the Match award in Nigeria’s victory over South Africa in the semi-final of the AFCON after saving two penalties to send the Super Eagles into the final.

“Just as Governor Adeleke celebrated Super Falcons’ duo of Rasheedat Ajibade and Rofiat Imuran after Nigeria’s brilliant outing in the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand and D’Tigress star Olawuyi Adenike Olayemi for making Nigeria proud as part of the team that won the 2023 FIBA Women’s Afrobasket title, we at the Osun FA are appealing to His Excellency to honour the Super Eagles duo.

“The Osun FA is also appealing to the State Deputy Governor-cum-Commisaioner for Sports and Youth Development Kola Olawusi to use his good office to persuade Governor Adeleke in this regard.”