Nigeria’s first amputee footballer in Europe, Bamgbopa Abayomi Alabi has said he is ready to represent Nigeria at the summer 2018 Amputee World Cup if called upon.
The World Amputee Football Federation (WAFF) World Cup is scheduled to take place between October 24 and November 5, 2018.
Poland based footballer said if the Nigerian coach makes the decision based on club form, he believes he’ll be in with a good chance.
Bamgbopa who represented Nigeria twice in the football category of African Cup of Nations told aclsports.com that the country will excel at the event.
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“I don’t care whether I play on the wing or upfront, I will take pride in representing my country once more. Yes of course, the coaches told me and I’m prepared for the game too. I’m going to represent Nigeria as well by God grace”, Bamgbopa said.
“I just count my blessings and keep playing to the best of my ability, and try not to let the team or the country down.
Bamgbopa who plays for Gloria Versovia in the Polish league (EKSTRAKLASA) revealed that his coach Mateusz Szczepaniak has been supportive since he arrived at the club side.
“Currently, I’m doing great at my club side Gloria Versovia well. We came second in the polish league last season. All thanks to my coach in Poland, Mateusz Szczepaniak, for making it possible for me to excel. If you come to Poland, the football stars including Robert Lewandowski is encouraging them (Amputee football players). We need same gesture in Nigeria too”, he clamoured.
Bamgbopa has 10 caps for Nigeria and 42 caps in Europe.
When he finally started playing amputee football, he became part of the team that represented Nigeria in the amputee football Nations Cup held in Monrovia, Liberia from the March 30th to April 6th, 2008.
His second appearance for the team on the Nations Cup was in 2011, in Ghana from the 18th to the 27th of November.
Alabi played a key role in Nigeria’s qualification to the amputee world cup that was held in Mexico in 2014.
Nigeria was the only country that didn’t end up going due to lack of funds with countries like Angola and Ghana participating in the World Cup. Nigeria ended up paying a fine.
The current board of the Nigeria Amputee Football Federation led by Suleiman Isah last March, paid all the debts accrued by the last board and the country can now participate in any global amputee tournament in the world
The Amputee World Cup tournament will gather the national teams from 24 countries to compete for the trophy last won by Russia in 2014.
Cover image credit: This is Africa