Youth and Sports Development Minister, Barrister Solomon Dalung has urged the National Team – The Super Eagles to do all that is required to defeat its Egyptian counterpart in Friday’s first leg cracker as well as wrap up in Egypt the nation’s qualification for the Rio Olympics; saying the thought of missing out in two consecutive appearance in the soccer event at the Olympic Game is frightening and uninmaginable to Nigerians.
Dalung gave the admonition in Kaduna while paying a moral-boosting visit to the players in their hotel in Kaduna after intensive training under the watch of Samson Siasia the new handler.
The Minister explained that Kaduna was chosen as hosting venue because of favorable results that have always smiled on Nigerian teams each time Kaduna has being the hosting venue as well as the unparalleled support from successive governments of Kaduna State and the spectators’ passion for national teams.
The Minister thanked the governor of Kaduna State Mr Ahmed El Rufai, who hosted the moral-boosting event to encourage the players; saying from what he has seen on the ground in terms of active support of government and mobilisation of supporters, he is convinced that the decision taken to take the match to Kaduna is the right one.
He reiterated the commitment of the present administration to promote grassroots sport development in other to “catch them young and provide necessary facilities at the grassroots level in line with best practices”.
The Minister gave kudos to the Kaduna State Government for its reviving of schools sports, saying this is the right thing to do, more so when most private schools today hardly has parking space for the school’s head teacher talk less of providing sporting fields for the pupils to train. Dalung was also full of praise for the State Government for its foray into establishment of a football Academy.
Earlier on Governor El Rufai has pledged the commitment of the State Government to host national teams in Kaduna; saying the state will never be tired to host soccer matches in the city.
He went on memory lane to recall the love of the Government and the spectators for the national teams pointing to the fact that Eagles has never lost a match in Kaduna.
He enjoined the team to maintain the enviable record by not being complacent or underestimating their opponent believing that the Eagles will prevail on Friday.
Both the Eagle’s handler Samson Siasia and the new captain – John Mikel Obi assured Nigerians that the Super Eagles will be victorious.