Monday, 28 January 2008

Hungarians Support Afrique Internationale FC Club

By Hakeem Babalola

Members of the Afrique Internationale Club de Football were delighted at receiving football kit which include footballs and jerseys from three sponsors presented to them on March 21 at the famous TROFEA restaurant in Budapest.

Although only one of the three sponsors was physically present, their message and aim of sponsoring an African team in Hungary was delivered by Bálogh Sándor, the African Hungarian Union president.

While presenting the kit to the club on behalf of 576, Millers and Delta Hungaria, Bálogh urged the players to score more goals in order to advance to the next level regarding football competitions in Hungary.

“I hope the new kit would be a source of inspiration to score more goals,” he said jokingly as he displayed the football kit whilst the players and Balásdi Szabó Istvan, the only sponsor present, gave a shriek of delight.

The players believe such gesture is a motivational apparatus that would have everlasting impact on the club and players.

“This is the first time we would have a major sponsorship,” said Viktor Nelson, the captain and president of the club. We are grateful and I believe this is the beginning”.

Nnuji Kelechi, an attacker, in his own reaction said that this kind of gesture shows that we are being noticed by the Hungarians, adding that our tenacity definitely has paid off. “This will boost our morale to perform better. We are ready”.

Augustin Ozonnadi, the vice-captain and attackers, who has been with the club since its inception in 2005, admitted there was a time it had no supporting “but today things are getting better and I pray that things would still be better in the future. I am very glad because every player is happy tonight.”

Sam Danis, the best goal scorer for the club share Ozonnadi’s sentiment. “It is by the grace of God that we are where we are today and I believe every member of the club feel happy today. I give thanks to God for His mercy for allowing me to score goals and to lift the club higher”.

Meanwhile not many players are willing to stay and play professional football in Hungary because, according to them, Hungary is not really a football country. Many players complained about lack of motivation on the part of Hungarian Football administrator.

“I would like to go to Western Europe like Spain, England, Italy where football is more developed,” said one player who think that Hungarian Football is still at its incipient stage.

Another player said, “To play professional football in Hungary? You must be kidding me. Not here in Hungary because their football is not good or well developed. There is no encouragement. If you look at their Division One, no professional footballer is here. We are not planning to stay here”.

Another reason, according to Ozonnadi for not wanting to play professional football in Hungary, is the attitude of Hungarian players which he described as anti-foreigners.

“I played for one Hungarian club and their behaviour toward foreigners – especially we blacks – is not good. For instance, they don’t pay yet they would like you to continuing play for them. Meanwhile they pay Hungarian players that one is even better than”.

The Afrique Internationale was founded in 2005 and has since won many competitions, according to Nelson. The club which also serves as Football Academy is currently the league leader in the Second Division, while keeping the flag flying in the Hungarian FA Cup known as Magyar Cup.

Copyright 2008

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