Super Eagles Star William Troost-Ekong Reacts to Controversial M.O.N Award

William Troost Ekong alongside President Bola Tinubu and his national honour | X/@WTroostEkong

Super Eagles Star William Troost-Ekong Reacts to Controversial M.O.N Award

Ayoola Kelechi 10:41 - 14.02.2024

Nigeria's vice-captain, William Troost-Ekong has proudly displayed his M.O.N award despite the backlash that the national honour has been getting in social circles

In a recent development that has caught the attention of the Nigerian football community, Super Eagles defender William Troost-Ekong took to his X account to share his reaction to receiving the prestigious Member of the Order of the Niger (MON) national honour. 

This accolade was awarded by President Bola Tinubu to the entire Super Eagles team for their valiant performance at the AFCON 2023 tournament in Ivory Coast, despite a narrow loss to the hosts in the final.

Super Eagles receive prestigious recognition

The ceremony, which saw each player in the national squad being honoured with one of the country's highest awards, took place amid a backdrop of mixed emotions. 

The Super Eagles' efforts in Ivory Coast culminated in a 2-1 defeat against the hosts, yet President Bola Ahmed Tinubu praised the team's resilience and spirit. Alongside the MON award, the players were also gifted a flat and a piece of land in the region surrounding the capital, symbolizing the nation's appreciation for their endeavours on the international stage.

 A Moment of Unity and Encouragement

In his address, President Tinubu highlighted the importance of unity and hard work, encouraging the youth of Nigeria to aspire to greatness. "Let this passing event not dispirit us but bring us together to work harder," he stated, offering words of inspiration to the future stars of Nigerian football. 

Amidst the current economic challenges facing the country, including a significant rise in living costs and a devaluing currency, the President's gesture towards the national team was seen as a beacon of hope and a call to rally together in pursuit of shared dreams and ambitions.

 A Mixed Reception Amidst Economic Struggles

The awarding of the MON titles comes at a time when many Nigerians are grappling with the effects of economic policies that have led to heightened living expenses. 

The excitement surrounding the Super Eagles' participation in the AFCON final was palpable, with the health ministry in Lagos even issuing advice to fans on how to stay calm and prepared during the match. This national honour joins a list of distinguished recipients, including notable figures such as Davido and Teni, who have been recognized for their contributions to the country.

 Troost-Ekong's Proud Moment

Troost-Ekong's post on X, featuring a picture of him alongside President Tinubu, reflects a sense of pride and accomplishment. As a key figure in the Super Eagles setup, his reaction to the MON award underscores the significance of the recognition for the players and the broader football community. 

Despite the controversial nature of the award, given the current socio-economic climate, it serves as a reminder of the unifying power of sport and the potential for football to inspire and motivate a nation.

The MON award to the Super Eagles is a testament to the team's impact on and off the pitch. As Nigeria navigates through challenging times, the recognition of its football heroes offers a glimmer of hope and a reminder of the enduring spirit of resilience and unity that sport can foster.