‘Naze Millionaires Have Challenged Me’

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Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has said that the feat recorded by the state’s team, Heartland Football Club of Owerri in this year’s Federation Cup is a challenged to him.

Okorocha, who alongside Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola watched the final of the Federation Cup at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, said the Naze Millionaires, as Heartland are fondly called, have challenged him with the Federation Cup they won for the state, a trophy that has been elusive in the past 23 years.

Heartland, coached by Dutchman Lodewijk de Kruif on Sunday upset favourites, Enyimba Football Club of Aba to lift the 2011 Federation Cup.

The hard-earned victory came after the Naze Millionaires edged out Enyimba 1-0 in a tight final at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos.

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Speaking after Heartland were presented with the trophy, Governor Okorocha said he was a fulfilled man getting this honour during his tenure, adding “I feel great with the feat of Heartland today. We’ve not achieved this in the last 23 years and this trophy coming during my tenure as the governor of Imo State is indeed an honour.

“I think the players and their coaches have challenged me. The players are my children and I will do what a father must do to a child who brings honour to the family. I will do all things within my power to encourage the team because they deserve to be encouraged.”

The governor said the feat recorded by Heartland in this year’s Federation Cup was a tip of the iceberg in terms of good things to come to the state during his tenure as governor of Imo State.

“We’ll support football and other sports in the state,” he said.