Ghana midfielder Michael Essien has decided to honour both men even their engagements are taking place more than 3, 000 kilometres apart.
Kanu, who played a big part in Essien’s decision to accept the offer to join Chelsea in 2006 from French side, Lyon, is billed to have his testimonial game this Saturday in Lagos, while Drogba, a club mate of the Ghanaian at Chelsea, is having his wedding 24 hours later in Nice, France.
No one could really begrudge the 28-year-old midfielder had he opted to attend one and apologise to the other friend for his inability to attend his event, but instead Essien will appease both friends by attending both events.
Word out of Accra, is that Essien is ready to skip Drogba’s bachelors eve to take part Kanu’s testimonial and will then make a quick dash to the airport to catch a flight to France hoping to be able to show up in Nice on time to make the wedding.
”Right now Essien’s programme is for him to either catch Arik Air’s evening plight out of Accra on Friday or the early flight out the next day, take part in Kanu’s testimonial before heading to the airport to catch a flight to Paris.
”Luckily Kanu’s testimonial is at four o’clock so he should have more than enough time to catch the Air France flight out of Lagos all the way to Nice,” explained one of the officials organising the match.
Essien had previously told THISDAYSports on phone from London that he was looking forward to taking part in the testimonial because of his closeness to Kanu.
Only last week the former Super Eagles skipper was in Accra at the behest of his friend to take part in the ‘African Peace Match’ in which Essien’s African XI lost to the World XI, skippered by Ashley Cole.
Some other stars expected at The Testimonial include Senegalese footballer, El Hadji Diouf, Ghanaian stars Asamoah Gyan and Sulley Muntari, Samuel Eto and Emmanuel Adebayor.
The Bafana Bafana will also be ably represented at The Testimonial with first choice keeper, Itumeleng Khune, defender, Aaron Mokoena and midfielder, Siphiwe Tshabalala, the man who holds the distinction of scoring the first goal at the World Cup to be hosted on African soil.
However, since the Testimonial is not only about current football stars, some former stars who have also graciously agreed to make the long journey to Nigeria for the three-time FA Cup winner, include the de Boer twins, Frank and Ronald, Frank Rijkaard and Patrick Kluivert, who incidentally where all members of the victorious Ajax side, which dazzled all the way to European glory in 1995, with Nigerian stars Kanu and Finidi George in the thick of the action.
Also scheduled to grace the Teslim Balogun Stadium is former Chelsea and Dutch striker, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, former World, Europe and African Footballer of the Year, George Weah and Zambian great, Kalusha Bwalya.
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