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Arsenalís defeat saddens Saraki

Posted by Nurudeen Obalola on 2006/05/23 | Views: 1033 |

Arsenalís defeat saddens Saraki


Governor Bukola Saraki of Kwara State was one of the teeming fans of Arsenal who mourned the clubís Champions League final defeat to Barcelona.

Governor Bukola Saraki of Kwara State was one of the teeming fans of Arsenal who mourned the clubís Champions League final defeat to Barcelona.

But unlike the majority of the clubís Nigerian fans who watched the match, which the Spaniards won 2-1, on television and wondered how their team lost a one-goal lead in five minutes, Saraki was right there in rain-swept Paris, joining thousands of travelling fans in applauding the heroic efforts of the London clubís players.

Saraki witnessed last Wednesdayís final live at the Stade de France along with his Chief of Staff, Ganiyu Olododo, and Special Adviser (Media), Nurudeen Abdulraheem.

According to Abdulraheem, the governor, a long-standing Arsenal supporter, took the defeat philosophically.

"Everybody that has passion for a team will obviously feel sad after a deafeat but Governor Saraki did not let it affect his interaction with others. He was calm after the loss and you couldnít read it on his face that his beloved team had just lost a very important match. He even analysed the match afterwards and we had dinner together," Abdulraheem said in a telephone interview on Monday.

The special adviser revealed that the Paris match was an eye-opening experience for him.

He said, "I felt good that I was there in Paris because I learnt a very important lesson. After the match, Arsenal fans were still hailing their team and that must have taken some weight off the playersí shoulders. Kwara United supporters should learn from these Arsenal fans and back their team even in defeat.

"We also learnt other things about the pitch and regrassing and this knowledge should help us as we upgrade our stadium."

Governors James Ibori and Lucky Igbinedion of Delta and Edo States were also in Paris for the final.

THE PUNCH, Tuesday May 23, 2006

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