World Cup Qualifier; Victory Not Served On A Platter Of Gold-Sports Minister
Bamidele Fashube, ABUJA, Nigeria (GVE) – Super Eagles qualification for the 2018 Russia World Cup was not served on a platter of gold, Nigeria’s Youth and Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung has said.
He credited the victory to hard work, determination and sacrifice by all stakeholders involved in the process.
Barrister Dalung made the remark while heaping encomiums on the Super Eagles after they defeated Zambia 1-0 at the Godswill Akpabio stadium in Uyo to clinch Africa’s first ticket to the 2018 World Cup.
The Minister commended efforts of the President, Muhammadu Buhari in ensuring consistent release of intervention funds for the team during the qualification campaign whenever he was called upon.
“Without the benevolence of President Muhammadu Buhari, it wouldn’t have been easy for us to achieve this huge success. He always gave approvals and releases for intervention funds whenever we called upon him for assistance. We are happy that another milestone has been recorded under the President Buhari administration.”
Dalung noted that the manner in which the qualifiers were prosecuted without unnecessary drama or calculations associated with Super Eagles’ qualification matches in the past is worthy of commendation.
“This is because it will be the first time that a World Cup qualifier is being prosecuted without a Presidential Task Force with a bogus budget. This has also saved the government billions of naira with the same result achieved with less funds.”
He added that; “Soccer is not just a game in Nigeria but a religion and passion. No excuse would have been tenable if Nigeria had failed to qualify. So I must commend the leadership of the NFF including the support rendered by the technical department and other board members for every role each one of you played to achieve success. We also doff our hats for the good people and Government of Akwa Ibom state for being great hosts to the Super Eagles.”
With the world cup qualification already secured despite still having a game against Algeria in November, Dalung said attention must now be shifted to the 2019 AFCON qualification campaign.